Not two posts ago my writing was overflowing with joy and bouncing with Christmas energy. Now, I’m staring at a pile of Christmas cards to sign and stamp; another pile of Christmas presents that need wrapped. My favorite Christmas music station has made me turn off the radio entirely, and when I drive through the neighborhood at night, the beautiful Christmas lights don’t remind me of Christmas magic but are glittering symbols of hard labor and increased electricity bills.
Last year, I started counting down to Christmas the day after, and listened to nothing but jingle-y songs and round Christmas tree rock.
This year I won’t even put up a tree.
Why should I be happier when the temperature is low, and bills are high?
When did I become a Scrooge?
Why should I give presents to show my friends I care about them? Isn’t that what birthdays are for? Should I give a present every month, just in case they forget that I care?
I waited 11 months for Christmas to come. And now, when it’s five days away, I’m less happy than I was when I waited for it.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s my problem…
I expected to have time to cuddle with my boyfriend, sip hot cocoa, and watch Christmas movies. But what I got was late nights spent working.
I expected to have enough money to get everyone an amazing gift they’d love. But what I got was nearly maxed out cards that nearly broke the bank when I paid them off for gifts that were only slightly better than average.
I expected to be in a good mood. But what I got was…
I’m sure it’s my expectations that, well, ruined Christmas before it even started. My focus shifted from celebrating a savior, to satisfying latest trends…
And I’m not sure how to switch it back. But when this song came on the radio, I nearly cried. Perhaps, that holds the secret to finding joy despite all the difficulties we face this season.