The holidays usually make me happy. Really, really happy. I love how the air grows crisper each day and fills with childlike expectancy, as everyone anticipates the year’s first snowfall. I love how the city, bustling and sparkling with red and gold lights, bursts with magic and seasonal cheer. And, of course, I love the many sounds, smells, and tastes that accompany this time of year: street corner choirs who sing jazzy renditions of Christmas favorites like “Carol of the Bells,” the unmistakable scent of a freshly cut noble fir, or the brilliant aroma of spiced apple cider. And a cup of hot cider must be accompanied by gingerbread cookies, or a fresh slice of pumpkin pie, right? Mmm…doesn’t it all sound utterly fabulous?
Nope. In fact, I’m cringing as I type this.
I know, I know, you’re probably staring at me as if I’m crazy, but I’m being completely honest. The truth is I’m kind of dreading the holidays this year. Whether it’s the family drama, the fact that Nani isn’t in this world anymore, the overall lack of finances (and, therefore, the lack of holiday plans), or maybe just a grand mix of all the aforementioned reasons, the point is the Grinch in me has awoken this year, and as a result, I find myself constantly annoyed with any and all holiday-related ideas. For example, I was flipping through radio stations the other day, and I landed on WARM 106.9 FM. They were playing “O Christmas Tree,” and my instinctual thought was to beat the crap out of my car’s radio. (Oh, and by the way—whose idea was it to start playing Christmas music before Black Friday?!) Another example: a number of people in my neighborhood have already put up their Christmas decorations. Just a few weeks ago, Halloween decorations accentuated people’s yards, and now I’m seeing lights and ornaments and those plastic Santas on people’s front porches. And frankly, they’re making me angry.
What’s my point in telling you all this? I guess I don’t really have one. ‘Cause really, when it all boils down, Christmas isn’t about the decorations, the songs, or the treats. It’s about—brace yourselves; I’m about to throw you a Sunday-school cliché—Jesus. But I suppose it just bothers me that I’m at such a low point and can’t seem to come out of it. What I probably need to do is get my focus off of myself and find an opportunity to make someone else’s holiday season a little brighter. Because I’m certainly not the only person who’s hurting. And I’m positive that many people have it a lot worse than I do. But, again, I believe in being honest; and these thoughts have been bubbling inside of me for a while now, so I figured I’d get them out. Besides, I can’t imagine I’m the only person who’s ever suffered from Grinch-ism. So let me close this note with the following questions: for those of you who have suffered from similar thoughts and anti-holiday attitudes, what’s your story? And how did you overcome your own Grinch-ism?