Last night, thatcrazycajun made a post about his mixed feelings on the holiday season. I’ve been giving this some thought since I read it last night, because I’ve lately been of two minds about Christmas.
I love Christmas. I love the atmosphere it creates. I love winter. I love the lights, and the music, and the sheer joy that permeates every part of it. People are friendlier, and more giving, and more outwardly focused at Christmastime, and I love that.
I should note that I was raised agnostic. I’ve never had a deep, personal, spiritual relationship with the Christmas season, so my love for the holiday doesn’t have to get tangled up with how I feel about the actual implications of Christological mythology.
At the same time, I feel a little empty at Christmas, because Christmas is so very much about family, and mine isn’t here. It seems I never have the luxury of time to go and visit mine during the holidays, and even if I could, it’s been over a decade since my grandfather, the axis around which my entire family world revolved when I was a child, passed away. My cousins all have children, and have begun to spin their own family worlds, and having been absent the last 20 years, I’m not really a part of it.
Some years ago, I went to pick khaosworks up from bedlamhouse and ladyat‘s home on Christmas Day. I arrived as the family gift exchange was in full swing, and so I stood and watched a while waiting for Terence to be done. And watching it made me feel…not bad, really…but somehow that while I was certainly welcome to be there, I wasn’t really a part of what was going on. I was an observer, not a participant. And I realised at that moment what I deeply, truly, achingly missed from my own life — that sense of total belonging. I’m not entirely sure I feel it anywhere, any more.
kitanzi and I have our own little Christmas traditions. We’re low-key people, and we do low-key things. But there’s a part of me that really misses the noisy, warm, chaotic love of Christmas morning with the whole family gathered for food and gifts and running around the yard.
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.