Sunday, December 23, 2007
Tis the season to be....
I'm sitting here looking at our fat, happy Christmas tree. it's decorated with multicolored lights, and loaded with a mishmash of ornaments -some from my childhood, some from last week. it fills me with a pagan spirit of hopefulness that, here on this shortest day of the year, light will return to us after all. For me, Christmas does what it's supposed to do. It makes me happy.
My husband, on the other hand, is miserable this time of year. He always goes emotionally MIA a couple of weeks before Christmas. There are plenty of rational reasons for that; he's a naturally frugal guy, so he hates to see the consumer feeding frenzy, etc., etc. But that doesn't touch the heart of it. Even i can't know all the sad corners of it. But there's one image i carry with me. When he was a kid, his parents always went out to a party on Christmas Eve and got wasted (leaving my Husband home with is younger brother and sister). Then, on Christmas morning, they'd be really hung over, so they'd sleep late and my husband, a child himself, would have to keep the younger ones quiet and away from the presents for hours, till the parents finally dragged their selfish, sorry asses out of bed. It's hard for me to think of someone I love having to endure that. i wish I could go back in time and whoosh into their lives like Mary Poppins - bringing a basket of fresh, hot muffins for the kids to eat while I roust the parents out of bed, lecture them firmly on their many derelictions of duty, and make them see the error of their ways. But then my husband wouldn't be the man i fell in love with, the man I still love 23 years later. So the fantasy falls apart.
My kids all seem to have a fairly simple and straightforward happiness about the holiday. I'm pretty good about bustling around and making things fun - I make cookies, I welcome back all our old, tacky ornaments with glee each year. i'm good at thinking up presents people like. So it's rewarding to see them growing up with a happy healthy attitude. But I can't ever quite reach that little boy that haunts me, the one my husband once was, the little man looking after his baby brother and sister alone on Christmas morning. So I guess the only thing I can do is to be merry enough for both of us.