People really, really love Christmas. Since Thanksgiving Day, Christmas music has played nonstop in my office. A friend of mine puts up two different trees. Holiday parties start popping up as soon as you can say ho-ho-ho, and I’m pretty sure Santa is already at the mall and today is the first day of December.
I like Christmas, but I hate that it comes earlier every year. I am called a Scrooge in my office a lot because I give the impression that I don’t like Christmas. But, in fact, I do like Christmas. I just find it to be an unfulfilling time of year for me…
Since moving from my parent’s home in 2003, I’ve had one Christmas tree. Because we lived in apartment at the time, live trees were illegal. But we couldn’t afford an artificial tree, so we bought an illegal tree. The Boyfriend was excited to have a live tree, so we proudly piled into the SUV with the dog and cruised across town to pick out our real, North Carolina-grown, live Christmas tree. I remember the garden center we picked it out from, I remember the row it was in, the price we paid for it, and the stickiness the sap left on my fingers as we tied it to the top of the car. It was a grey, chilly day in town. The kind of day that makes you want to have a cup of cocoa and put lights on a tree.
We went to a department store and picked out lights for our tree, had the debate of white vs. color. We picked a few other holiday decorations out and were on our way.
I remember decorating the illegal tree in our apartment that night. It was such an odd feeling, being in your own house, being the adult in charge of the lights. Placing the ornaments. I remember looking at the tree and feeling happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I had a tree, that I was starting a family. Sad that it was a tree with no familiar ornaments. One day, I assured myself, the ornaments would be familiar. We hung the three new stockings by the chimney. I can remember sitting on the couch night after night and admiring our work the month of December.
That was the first and last illegal tree we shared. Incredibly enough, seven months later I moved out and I didn’t bring a single Christmas decoration to my new house. The extent of my decoration of this new house includes the display of any cards I receive in the mail on a bookcase and a “winter” themed wreath that hangs on the door, but it’s mostly filled with school spirit more than Christmas spirit.
I haven’t been able to put up another tree. I haven’t felt inspired to buy new decorations. For some reason, I am unmotivated to get the Christmas spirit again. Christmas is about family, about being together. And it feels so wrong to put up signs of Christmas cheer in a house of one person. Putting up Christmas decorations, putting ornaments on a tree..it makes me want to have my own family. I want to show my children ornaments from my childhood. I want to have an “our first Christmas” ornament. I want a family of my own for Christmas memories.
Maybe this is the year I do something more cheerful in my own house. Maybe I just keep decorating my parents tree instead of my own. I don’t know what the outcome of this holiday season will be, truthfully. But I do know that I really and truly feel for those who find the holidays to be so lonely. You see, it’s not that I hate Christmas. It’s just that I love Christmas. And I want someone or a few someones to share that magic with. One day..