Monday, December 10, 2012
Ho, Ho, Humbug
Before that and more pointedly, the joy of Christmas got lost one horribly sad year in my childhood and it didn't come back until I had my daughter. It was as if that sad year melted away watching the sparkle in her eyes on Christmas morning. That's the magic, isn't it?
But perhaps that's unfair, to expect her to make it magical. That's a lot of pressure on a kid. And it wasn't until yesterday that I started to think that maybe that was what I was doing. I was thinking I was making it magical for her, but maybe she was making it magical for me. It's funny how it all falls down to perspective.
Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. Maybe the magic is something we all have to believe in for it to be real.
I can't say.
I can say that I was pretty sad yesterday and it's spilled over into today and I'm damn sure not spending the Christmas season feeling sad. I gave it my all yesterday. I sang stupid Christmas songs, I plopped on a dorky santa hat, I decked halls, hung lights, re-imagined a new and improved holiday decor. Getting her and her dad to participate was like pulling teeth. The two of them just sat staring at electronic screens all day only stopping briefly and begrudgingly when I begged them to hold something for me or help me up or down a ladder.
You'd think I was asking them to scrub toilets.
At one point, after hours of my gently prodding, I pretty much lost it. Then her dad yelled that he hated Christmas.
And that was it. From that moment on I stopped asking nicely and started insisting the tree be hauled out and lit. There was so much bitching going on, I stepped in to help and still can't for the life of me figure out what was so hard about stringing lights on that tree. The branches are all exactly the same, I just don't get it.
Now there's a tree in the living room, with a smattering of vintage Christmas balls and some candy canes on it and I'm not really feeling the love for decorating it alone. Is that so wrong? I mean, isn't the whole point of having a family doing this stuff together and liking it? Whether we like it or not? Am I expecting too much from my family?
When did we lose the magic of Christmas and how do we get it back?
I can only ho so many hos before my ho ho ho has sputtered out. But I will not sled gently into that good night. I will put the fun back into dysfunctional! They're going to trim that tree and they're going to enjoy it if it kills me.
And it just might.