Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?
Lately, I’ve been in a bit of slump and I’ve been trying to cover it up with excitement, but the truth is: this year is missing some Christmas spirit for me. I’m not sure exactly why– maybe, it’s the aftermath of a stressful finals period and now the waiting for final grades to be released or maybe, it’s the rushed feeling that has been in my home as we struggle to get everything done in time for the holiday or maybe, it’s even the distress that comes along with following politics this season. Whatever it is, something just feels off to me.
I think admitting that we can’t feel the holiday cheer is something hard for a lot of us to do. What is wrong with us that we don’t just feel overjoyed this season? In almost every Christmas movie, the people who don’t feel Christmas cheer are often villains or mean people. They live quite unhappy and grouchy lives until someone opens their eyes to how great Christmas can be (often by going to some small, adorable town where they find love and community). But, sometimes, not feeling the holiday spirit doesn’t mean you’re a grinch or have let the season go. In fact, sometimes, it’s exactly the opposite: you want more than anything to be able to feel the Christmas cheer that everyone else seems to feel.
Right now, I’m at a personal struggle. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year and I told myself that finals were just a blip in my Christmas spirit radar. I would spend a week unhappy, but then I could get back to happiness and excitement. I came home though and found that was not the case– no matter how many Christmas songs I listen to or movies I watch, something just feels off.
A hard part of self-care is checking in with where you’re at emotionally and not beating yourself up if you aren’t where you want to be. It is okay to not feel overwhelmed with excitement during Christmas, even if you wish you were. It is okay to feel sad or alone or confused. I’ve said it before, but I think we, myself included, could all do to hear it again: it is okay to still be human during the holidays.
Despite this all, I’m still holding out hope that I can find my perfect Christmas cheer again. Maybe, I’ve been looking in the wrong places. Maybe, Christmas spirit doesn’t live in hundreds of cookies or fancy wrapped boxes with ribbon or pretty decorations around the house. Maybe, every Christmas movie does have it right: it’s in the love that’s all around us every day.