Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Stress

Why is it that the holidays are so stressful? This is supposed to be a time of giving. A time to celebrate. I have my Christmas shopping done, my cards sent, my cookies baked, yet I have this vague sense of unease that there is something I need to do. Something I need, to make sure this is the best holiday ever -- but I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm looking for things in other people that I will never find. Maybe I will never find them because I don't have it either? I know I mourn for Christmas' past with my Grandma and Grandpa and a fabulous Christmas Eve celebration. I miss the excitement of opening gifts that I really want, no need to have in order to survive. Maybe I've lost the yearning for specific things that allows me to experience this? I miss the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve and knowing you have to go to sleep, but being so excited that you can barely sleep, and just when it seems like sleep will never come, the next thing you know it's Christmas morning. One of my favorite parts of Christmas was being the first one awake. My Mom gave me a time -- 7:00, I believe, that I was allowed to wake her up. I was up much earlier than that, just waiting, by myself, sneaking in to look at the clock, but never peeking at the tree. And really I never did, even though the tree was not too far from the table with the clock on it. I can remember the anticipation building. I can remember the dark and quiet of the house as I silently waited. There was magic in the air. A few minutes before time, I would wake up my sister, then we would be excited together and go wake up my mother. We had to wait in the bedroom until she got up and went into the living room and lit up the tree, then we were allowed to come out and see what Santa brought us. It was never much, but is was always enough. Maybe now we give each other to many things and not enough of ourselves?