The lyrics say it all…
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
Well, unless of course you are me. This is the most dreaded time of the year. Christmas. Oh, how I wish it didn’t exist or that I could be excused from it. No, I am not going to suggest that those enjoy its festivities should be boiled in their own pudding or staked with holly, I am not Ebeneezer Scrooge in the strictest sense. I just hate Christmas.
Why? Because Christmas is the time that I honestly feel the most alone. Year after year, season after season, I have grown to resent and hate the holiday. There’s no amount of singing that will raise my Christmas cheer, even if singing loud for all to hear. Christmas is much like Jacob Marley, dead and yet a ghost that comes to haunt me. The ever present sound of the season resemble the chains that break through the night at poor old Ebeneezer’s home.
Except, this time, there is no Ghost of Christmas Past, Present or Yet-to-come to rescue me out of my doldrums. A Christmas Carol only works for Dickens’ creations, not in the real world. Not for me, at any rate. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to have the day of Christmas off of work, but yet I would have been glad for the company it provided. I would much rather work than find myself alone.
This year, there’s been too much of that loneliness thing. Just a shade too much. The hardest part of my personality is that it is too easy to hide the pain, fear, anxieties and insecurities under the guise of joyful, happy banter; it forces you to put on a happy face, a mask. You want the world to look at you and go, “he’s doing okay,” because anything less is failing. At least that’s what my brain tried to convince me of, my heart telling a different story. A story of pain. Heartbreak. Loss.
The truth is, I am not doing completely okay. I’m better in stages. I have spurts of goodness left in me, but I work up to them. I still wear my heart on my sleeve, some days. I still feel the weight of the world on these broad shoulders, no matter who has offered to share it. The only purpose Christmas serves in my life is to further add to a burden I already carry. It offers another way to look at the world and say, “I don’t deserve joy.”
Joy: I have been robbed of it, not like a thief in the night, but rather like an old-fashioned stick-em-up train robbery. It had no pretense about getting caught, this thief wanted to be known. It wanted to see the misery it unleashed on my soul. It is the meanest version of the Grinch, a crooked jerky jockey and more. I’m lost without it.
I wish so badly that it could change. I wish that I would be whisked away to see the past, the present, and what is yet to come. I wish I could yell down from a window and ask “what day is it?” and know that I have changed. I so desperately wish I could walk down the street and wish someone a Merry Christmas and actually feel merry doing so. It’s been my Christmas wish for years. I think 17 of them now.
I’d settle for a reason to smile this Christmas. A feeling of wanting Christmas to linger just a bit longer. Is it too much to ask? Probably not. Yet it still evades me. Maybe this is the year Christmas is different, but I don’t get that feeling.
2018 has been the hardest of my (almost) 30 years on this planet. Maybe 2019 will be the easiest. They say the darkest part of night is just before the dawn, after all. Maybe it will ring true. Maybe.
This Christmas, maybe just think of me and say hello? It might not be a significant deal to you, but sometimes, those hellos are the world to me.