I have to tell you, I'm just not feelin' it these days. Back at work after the holidays and I have the post-holiday blues. All the twinkle lights have been put away (except the ones at my house because I'm too lazy), all the pretty red bows and Christmas trees have disappeared.
I love the holidays. Everyone seems a little happier, a little friendlier, and a little more lighthearted. I'd like to have that back, but instead, I'm gearing myself up for 11 months of the grind.
My sister Mary once asked me with exasperation in her voice, "Why do you like Christmas so much?" Well, there is a pretty simple answer to that.
The thing is that I am the youngest of six children. And I'm the youngest by a big margin. My oldest sister, Cathy, is 14 years older than me and my brother Tom, who is the next to youngest, is 7 years older than me. Joan, Mike, and Mary all range somewhere in between Cathy and Tom. So, when I was little, the only times I remember all of us being together was for Christmas and similar holidays because when I was only 3 years old, my sister Cathy had already moved out of the house to attend college. So, for me, Christmas is really, really about having my family all together. I don't remember experiencing an entire family gathering before the age of 4. In fact, my first Christmas memories consist of counting down the days and weeks until my sister Cathy came home from college for Christmas break. I remember knowing that she would get home after the pink candle in the advent wreath was lit. So, there you go. I love Christmas and I love seeing my family.
Last weekend, I was blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with my entire family at my mom's house in Houston. It was crowded, loud, and chaotic . . . and I loved it. The hardest part was watching the families leave one by one after what seemed to me to be a very short visit. Still, it was wonderful to be together and I guess I need to come to grips with the fact that it will never ever be like it was in the past where everyone slept under the same roof and we all woke up to eat breakfast together. Those days are over, and for me, really didn't exist. Still, I am rewarded in other ways - like having five fantastic surrogate parental figures who love and doted on me. I'm grateful for that.
Hope the rest of you are in better spirits.