Saved by the Christmas bell

Author: natalie  //  Category: Holidays

All right, so I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Actually, and since I’m among friends, a “bit” doesn’t do my funk justice. I’ve spent some time standing near the edge of a black hole, mesmerized by the swirling vortex at the entrance to a place where not even light escapes. Just when I think I may succumb to the intense gravitational pull, the sounds of sleigh bells ringing during “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (can you hear the song?) take me somewhere else. Whew!  

Since admitting a couple of weeks ago that the holiday season doesn’t exactly put a sparkle in my eye anymore – believe I even muttered a bah-humbug – I decided to take an Ebenezer Scrooge-inspired journey in the hopes of reigniting some personal Christmas spirit.

Christmas Way in the Past: Picture me with pig-tails, teeth missing, and running to a real tree covered with C9 lights burning hot enough to intensify the pine aroma. Life was good on Christmas mornings. The magic started with a very bright Super 8 camera light blinding me almost to the point of not being able to see that Santa brought most of what was on my wish list and few extras on top. And since I’m grown with my own family now, it is a mystery how my mother, the lovely Linda Rowe, managed to look fresh as a flower and fully made-up without so much as a strand of hair out of place while still in her pajamas. Mystery solved: She got out of bed looking that way . . . two hours before the rest of us.

Christmas Past: It was so easy, aside from the lack of sleep. Christmas-morning photos confirm that I looked as tired as I felt. Doesn’t every parent have at least one hold-out child who’s certain he heard Santa land on the rooftop compelling an immediate investigation? (That kid is also the first one out of bed the next morning.) Visions of Legos, remote-controlled cars, baby dolls, and young children rubbing wonder-filled eyes as they made their way down the stairs fill my mind. Life was simpler, wasn’t it?

Christmas Present: It has been said that today is a gift. I believe that, but lately I’m asking where I can return a few. If I can’t give them back entirely, can I at least make an exchange? Surely there’s something that fits a little better. In spite of my lackluster enthusiasm this year, the tree is decorated (but not the mantel), and I’m going through all the motions.  My current mantra: Fake it ‘til you make it! Case of the holiday blues? Nah! Probably my rebellious streak coming out to play. I’ll feel merry when I’m good and ready – not when the calendar dictates.

Christmas Yet to Come: This one gets a little tricky because (gasp!) I can alter it somewhat by my behavior during Christmas Present. That’s an eye-opener and a serious conundrum all rolled into one. If I continue along the path of being the ogre who expects grades, a respectful attitude and a certain level of cleanliness, Jeff and I could spend some holidays alone.  If I throw all expectations out the window and befriend those I was charged with raising, I’ll never have a moment of peace.

I returned from my excursion with Christmas spirit renewed. While the season sometimes seems too much on top of what already hangs from my limbs, time spent with family and friends is a welcomed diversion from that swirling vortex. It’s quite possible that this year I’ve been saved by the Christmas bell.

© 2009 Natalie Whatley

One Response to “Saved by the Christmas bell”

  1. Baytown Bert Says:

    I hear you and feel your pain. Once again we are identical in our feelings and outlook. Even though I’ve been listening to Christmas music on 99.1 FM since they started playing it and trying trying trying to get in the Christmas spirit, it is evading me. I can’t seem to plug in.

Leave a Reply