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Waiting for Something to Break

Every year I grapple less with the daunting fact that Christmas is just not as fun as a grown person as it is when you’re a child. I have accepted it, it’s a fact of life. Move on.

I don’t like the fact that December seems to be one of those months that chews you up and spits you out if you don’t plan accordingly, and in my line of business, it made for a lot of really late nights, really long days, and me and Aaron tearing down all our decorations last Sunday thinking, “What the hell just happened?”
Christmas time this year was just weird.

It was chaos, it was heartbreak, it was a lot of half-assed gifts (which is EXTREMELY out of character for me. I am that person who gets ulcers over picking out the perfect present.

This year I sat in my armchair, let my credit card do the work, and prayed I didn’t order a pile of crap. It was me forcefully trying to hang on to a little glimmer of nostalgia – crafting those smelly cinnamon ornaments like we used to when I was a kid and making pomanders and robotically baking dozens upon dozens of cookies with Reece’s cups jammed down inside them.

I know “they” say going through the motions is a sign of depression, but when every motion was me FORCEFULLY trying to not be depressed, it was borderline hysterical. I really should stop comparing myself to “them” and other people in general.

There was a whole lot of “OMG LOOK AT ALL THESE CRAPPY OLD CHRISTMAS BULBS I AM REPURPOSING INTO BEAUTIFUL WREATHS AND SHIT!” as I hot glued my hand to the table with a giant fake smile that makes me happy we don’t have children to scare.

And sugar cookie batter flavored with sprinkles and tears. I know this is bad as I’m working out to get fit for my ultramarathon, but then again…

There was the fact that I haven’t talked to my sister on the phone EVER in my life for more than 3 minutes, and although the hour and a half conversation was a really shitty one about really shitty stuff, it made me really really happy just to be talking and working towards fixing whatever it is we can.

And although right now my family is more cracked than the Christmas bulb wreath I dropped on the hardwood while I was trying to hang it with puppies pitter-pattering at my feet, we were re-purposed back together with a new mission… being a solid unit even though there are pieces missing.

What intrigues me the most about this “rough patch” is that because it happened around Christmas, I look back on it fondly, like it was really a magical and special time and I want to recapture the holiday spirit.

Just because we had a beautiful Christmas tree and I got to wear my shiny dress, I want to go back. September was great, but December is always different!

Never mind the fact that every day was a near meltdown.  Or that I still can’t talk to my mom without being filled with this combination of rage and sympathy like she’s a little kid who cut my hair when I fell asleep on the couch.  I am all teary-eyed over the fact that my garland came down last week and I am back to my traditional mantel which is more like a shrine for porcelain owls.

Please tell me you get it too…

This inability to see things how they really are.  This imagining things is much better than they actually were and actually feeling drawn to wanting to be back in that place and time.

Maybe I want Christmas back so I can fix it before it breaks.  Or maybe I want Christmas back, but like in 1990 when all I wanted was a Barbie and a baby brother. Maybe once I start with the Valentine’s decorations all will be atoned. Hopefully, this holiday around I can use it for something other than mending broken hearts.