Random Thoughts

On Christmas Spirit (or lack thereof)

I’ve blogged before about my lack of Christmas spirit (see Silver Bells), and this year has certainly been no exception. In fact this year might be the worst. It could be the fact that I’m in a new location which is already ruining any sense of familiar, or it could be that I’ve just grown up too much and am not whisked away by the magic of the season as easily. Whatever it is, I just ain’t feeling it.

For some reason, and I haven’t dissected this enough to really come to any conclusions, there’s a certain amount of nostalgia built into the Christmas season. It’s the time of year associated with families and traditions, and those are somewhat age old, so that brings up a sense of nostalgia, remembering times past. For me personally, I tend to listen to a lot of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, which I think both have a built in nostalgia as well. And I’ve been wearing those CDs out, desperate to feel some sense of magic that I once felt. Nothing’s working.  I’ve even headed downtown a couple times, which is so much fun at this time of year, but the magic inside me is thin and fleeting.

Now nostalgia itself has an innate sadness to it because you remember how things once were, knowing that they are no longer the same, however, it’s not an altogether unpleasant feeling.  It’s a feeling that is probably the hardest to describe, and I think it’s also the most distinctly human characteristic.  However, my Christmas nostalgia the last several years has often left me empty, and I’ve been trying to figure out why that is.
I can’t deny that there is a romance to this time of year as well, and I also can’t deny (as much as I hate this emo side of me) that that is one source of my angst. One of the best parts about family and tradition is sharing it with those close to you, and there’s something particularly special about sharing those with a partner. I try not to place too much importance in this mythical relationship, and try to focus on the other fun things of the season; the magic of the first snow, shopping on Michigan Ave, and listening to Christmas music as I drive to my parents house. However, I have never found a way to lessen the incredible loneliness I feel at this time of year. There are plays I would love to go see, but it just seems weird to see them alone, or even with friends. I would love to go ice skating at Millennium Park, but I always enviously look at the various happy couples doing the same. I guess I would just love to be in love, and as each Christmas season passes, that part of my story continues to be unwritten.

I don’t mean for it to sound as depressing as all that (I don’t cry in the shower every night or anything), but I do wonder if that’s what prevents me year after year from really feeling the Christmas spirit.  I just remember being a child and having the year practically revolve around Christmas, and I long for that again.  I remember thinking “January 1st?  I can’t even think about that, that’s post Christmas.  That’s a whole world away.”  Now I know the true meaning of Christmas, but it’s turned into just another day.

Maybe I need to forget the true meaning of Christmas, and then learn it again, all while trying to buy a Turboman or some shoes.  Of course, then I’d probably have to be a crotchety old man.  But I guess it’s a start.


3 thoughts on “On Christmas Spirit (or lack thereof)”

  1. well, if you don’t have a “partner” to see that stuff with… would family help? I’m always up for something and usually also don’t go cuz I don’t want to go alone…
    Lemme know, cous. I’m here for ya.
    (except tomorrow night when I’m sitting in the 100 level of the Hawks game without you… then I’m not here for you…. next time I get free tickets, you’re it, though!!)

  2. I know exactly what you are feeling and have been voicing pretty much the same thing since Thanksgiving.

    Have you considered helping the less fortunate among us? I know that volunteerism always makes me feel better. That is if those that I am helping are truly just needing a temporary helping hand and are not demanding a life of cradle-to-grave assistance.

    Needy children however are not responsible for their parents poor decisions so we always go to Operation Letters To Santa and help out as much as we can either by going to the post office to pick up Dear Santa letters or by donating. It seems to help!

    Merry Christmas!

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