Christmas isn’t just a holiday. It’s the holiday. It’s the one that my family goes all-out for. If the rest of the holidays were playing king of the hill in a swimming pool, Christmas would dunk the Fourth of July’s head over and over. That’s just the way it is. My family loves Christmas, so I love Christmas, so everyone should love Christmas.
But as I age, my family’s influence on my opinions is fading. This is normal and even to be desired; it’s a part of growing up. It means that I have to start deciding for myself what is important and what is to be treasured. If I don’t consciously choose to make something important in my life, it will not spontaneously become important.
I didn’t realize that I must prioritize Christmas. Previously, I had Joyeux Noel imposed upon me; on a particular day, Christmas ensued when Mom said, “Go get the decorations.” I didn’t even think about the possibility of not celebrating Christmas.
But when there’s no one to say, “Go get the decorations,” it gets harder. I’ve been super-busy this year and haven’t taken time to celebrate Christmas properly. I didn’t buy a tree (even a little Charlie Brown one) or decorate the house. I haven’t been listening to much Christmas music. I’ve barely started shopping for presents (something I love to do). I haven’t taken initiative; I haven’t made it a point to celebrate Christmas.
Subsequently, I’ve been depressed in the Christmas arena. James actually sent back my first essay on Christmas because it was “anti-“ and “wishy-washy.” Which it was, because I’m anti- and wish-washy on this Christmas. And that’s my fault. I let life get in the way of celebrating Christmas. If I continue to do this, I will never celebrate anything or enjoy life. And that’s wrong. I’m not going to let that happen.
Like a lot of other things that happen to you when you’re growing up, no one really tells you how to start celebrating holidays. They just assume you will. So, consider this my stake in the ground. From now on, I’m celebrating Christmas the way I should, as a real person. Christmas is still the holiday. I just have to make celebrating it a priority as a newly minted adult.