Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas is Just Alright With Me

I needed to look at pretty flowers tonight.

I don't know if you were reading my old blog last year, but back then I wrote this post about how I was right with Christmas now that I was older, and last year I really was. This year has been a little different - I'm just not feeling it.

Yes, this weekend was fun. On Sunday S. went with me and the girls to cut down our tree and then we went to see a cheesy girl movie like we normally do over the holidays and it was all very sweet and nice. When I got home and went to put up the tree, I couldn't find the stand for it. I ripped everything out of my scary walk-in closet, but to no avail. Then Coadster reminded me that I had put it in the shed. I slipped some shoes on and was about to go out, when she said, "No, Mom. You put it in the shed last year." Which meant that it, along with the side mirror on my car was probably somewhere in Hickory Hill Park. So, now seven months after the tornado, I'm still being reminded of how bad it sucked.

On Monday I came home from work to find a Christmas card from some of my neighbors who live on Hotz Street. Inside it, they had included a little Christmas letter. The letter detailed their year - how they still didn't have their garage fixed after the storm and how their cat was diagnosed with diabetes and how their dog (which was like a child to them) had died of leukemia. I have to say, it was a refreshing change from those ones you get where people go on and on about how their kids are geniuses and their husbands are amazing and they work forty hours a week and volunteer at a homeless shelter and then go out and milk their own cows and churn their own butter and I keep waiting for next year's letter to be sent from the psych ward where they are finally getting the meds they need to calm their manic episodes.

While my neighbors' letter was a little depressing, I was right there with them. This has been a particularly sucky year for me and many of the people who live around me. There have been so many deaths and disappointments and I'm personally trying to financially dig out after the tornado. It's no wonder that I'm not totally into the holiday spirit this year.

I'm not writing this to try to ruin everyone else's good cheer either. I'm just saying that if I'm not quite perky and happy and bursting with love, (because I know you've all come to expect that from me) you now know why. When I was younger, I used to think that whatever didn't kill me, made me more bitter. But this time, I've actually been feeling kind of hopeful that next year has got to be better. I've never heard of anyone getting hit by a tornado twice in two years. I keep threatening to buy a lotto ticket - maybe I'll do that this weekend.


Bice said...

10 years of working retail (and seeing people behave atrociously) sucked the joy of the holidays out of me along time ago. This is my first Christmas post-retail but I still ain't feeling it yet. It may take a couple years for those memories to fade and the joy to return.

Anonymous said...

I like Christmas overall. I especially like having 2 of my 3 kids home. I'd like it more if my son and granddaughters could be with us from Texas. (Next year we are planning for the family to celebrate in TX.)
I like snow, in particular I like it at Christmas! Today, currentl @ 4:44 am the temp is 50 degrees.
I hate the mall at Christmas. 6 years ago I discovered internet shopping and my enjoyment of Christmas jumped measurably.

ps. Thanks for the kudos under the microscope!

booda baby said...

Some day and I'm not kidding or kissing ass, they will stick you - well, your plaque - in the same hall with O. Henry and Mark Twain - I'm very sorry, but it's very true and I would like credit for calling it.

Don't want to encourage any messiah complex, but apparently you suffer for my happiness. This was just funny. PLUS my secret code to get in was duhh!!!

(olay, and one other letter, but the extra letter kinda ruins it).

Anonymous said...

A depressing Christmas letter is strangely depressing. I'd like to pick a day of joy some other time, like March or August.

akelly said...

Some years I love the season and hate the holiday - some years I hate the season and love the holiday. This year I love the season, but will have such a post-holiday depression hangover that I'm not sure its worth it. Actually I'm relieved to hear about the letter - as we have been making lots of fun of holiday letters of late. Our sad sack letter would have been last years but we didn't write it - and I promise no christmas letter from us this year.

Churlita said...


I've worked retail too and it can definitely sour you for the holidays.


I had gotten to the point where I liked Christmas, but this has just been a bad year for me. I've had way worse years, so this year is more blah than Eek!

Booda Baby,

Thank you. Don't worry I won't have a Messiah complex anytime soon, but that was nice to hear. Up until you said that, I figured I'd be in the Don Knotts/Jerry Lewis Hall.


I don't think I wrote this that well. (big surprise there)What I meant to say, was that their Christmas letter was more real than depressing. I found my neighbors' honesty refreshing.


I would love to read your Christmas letter no matter what happened in your life. I owe you an e-mail, by the way and I plan to have that to you today.

julie in l.a. said...

Churlita--Do you like David Sedaris? His short story called "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" is the most hilarious pseudo-holiday letter I've ever read. In fact, I highly recommend getting his book "Holidays on Ice," if you don't have it already. The story about him working as an elf at Macy's nearly makes me pee my pants with laughter every time I read it. Makes the hellidays more fun. (The stories--not the peeing of the pants)

Churlita said...

I love David Sedaris. I don't think I've read his holiday stories, though.

I'm sure there might be situations where peeing your pants would make the hellidays more fun, I just can't think of any off the top of my head right now.

Anonymous said...

TYour post reminds me of moments in my life when It was a terrible time for me to quit my job when Christmas was a month away...those were truly made me really think twice that to lose your job in such a season was and if possible should be considered...anyway...that only consolation I did get from the experience is I was with my family at home 24/7 the whole season...of joy...merry christmas to everybody...

Anonymous said...

I'm with Julie! The David Sedaris story about working as an Elf at Macy's during the holiday season is hi-freaking-larious. It's the kind of humor that will turn your frown upside..well, maybe into some other kind of expression than a creepy, continuous smile or a sad, 'I hate the holiday' frown. As you've read, I'm usually not a happy holiday camper but for some reason (moslty due to the free cookies at work) December hasn't been completely insufferable.

Churlita said...

Major E Flat,

You're right there is good and bad in everything, and things have been way worse for me. Merry Christams to you too.


Okay, that's it. I'm definitely going to read the piece before Christmas. If we had free cookies at work, I would be much happier too.