Empty Stocking – 12 days of xmas #7

This is actually not what I intended to write originally. I had another more enthusiastic post planned. Yet, it seems somehow inappropriate now. Surprisingly (at least to me) this Christmas is going down as one of my most memorable Christmases. But for reasons I truly didn’t anticipate.

I’ve always loved Christmas, even when I was hating it. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because there is a part of me that simply refuses to grow up. A part of me that wants to believe in the impossibility of dreams coming true, happy endings and the basic good-heartedness of people in general.

And in recent years I’ve heard a lot (and there are even whole series of articles dedicated to this theme these days) about how Christmas isn’t what it used to be. There is the commercialism, the basic cynical outlook of society today, the stress, the unusually high expectations that inevitably sets people up to fall. This and much more is what I hear is wrong with Christmas today. But if I reach back into my memories I can easily recall my mother making the same claims when I was a child. And if I reach further back than that, by watching old movies, those claims appear too. To quote a character in the movie Miracle of 34th Street – “There are a lot of isms in the world, but the worst one is commercialism.” Indeed, that story was all about how society had lost the magic and true meaning of Christmas and how if you ‘just believe’ you can recapture that feeling.

This year has been a very tough one for me. For many reasons – not the least of which is that the company I work for came very close to shutting its doors this past week. Somehow, we have managed to avoid that castastrophe, at least for now. Although, there is no promise that it won’t rear its ugly head again next week or the week after that. Despite that (and many other things), I was completely and totally unwilling to let go of my love of Christmas. I was sure, very sure that I could still spread the magic and enthusiasm. Cheer friends and family alike.

And try I did and have. To no avail, I’m afraid. It seems everywhere I go there is a pervading sadness. Whether it be dinner with friends, shopping, the blogosphere – it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s like no one really wants to be cheered. And it’s not the Grinch angry kind of thing – even that (in comparison) is not so bad. It’s worse than that – maybe an indifference??? I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m tired of swimming against the tide. I’m tired of fighting people to be happy for just a few days. I guess I’m just plain tired. Perhaps I’ve finally grown up and realized there really is no magic. Or I just simply don’t have enough magic powder to go around.

My plans are made. The gifts are bought. Heck I’m even making a turkey dinner for Roomie, lest he eat hot dogs and watch cowboy movies all day. But my heart – it’s just not in it any more. I’m just not feeling it in the air, I’m just not seeing it in people’s faces or hearing it in their voices. And it’s kind of lonely here at the party by myself.

So this Christmas is my empty stocking. Not because there are no gifts there – because there are and there will be. Not because there won’t be good food and some laughs and goofy pictures to hide from public view. Not because I’m broke or I’m driving an old car that has a new weird sound almost every day. Not because there won’t be snow on Christmas Eve. Not because – in a phrase – life is a bitch and then you die. But because the sparkle that’s behind filling that stocking just ain’t there this year. Maybe next year it will be back. I sure hope so.


12 thoughts on “Empty Stocking – 12 days of xmas #7

  1. Hang on. Sometimes that’s all we can do.

    Hey J – at least we have our trusty and loyal hounds, eh? You too my friend and Merry Christmas.


  2. i feel terrible that you feel this way so close to the holiday. i think everyone feels the pinch, the stress and the craziness, but, on that magical day, there IS magic. i know you’ll see it again this year. you won’t have to wait til next.

    Aw Reggie don’t feel terrible – you’re probably right that there is some magic yet to be seen this year – but sometimes you have to say this stuff out loud or you’ll burst. Know what I mean, sweetie?


  3. “But my heart – it’s just not in it any more. I’m just not feeling it in the air, I’m just not seeing it in people’s faces or hearing it in their voices. And it’s kind of lonely here at the party by myself.”

    My husband expressed this same feeling on Saturday night. I told him that he wasn’t alone in the way we felt, but that we had to make it special. It’s hard when everyone around you is in a downer spirit, though. Take care.

    Thanks Deb – in a way it’s nice to know other people are feeling the same thing – at least I’m not totally paranoid and whacked out. 😉 Yeah, you do have to make it special for yourself, I agree. But man oh man that downer spirit – oy! What’s a Christmas addict to do?



  4. I’m excited, but have never really been one to be out there about it…my joy comes on Christmas morning..
    I’ve also been where you are right now, I’m pretty sure that in time it will go away, and your spirit will return a little sweeter for it’s absence…
    Merry Christmas WC

    Merry Christmas to you too my dear. I hope you and Zoe get everything you want this year. Well…maybe not everything…;)


  5. The spirit of Christmas works in mysterious ways. There have been many years that I have not felt it’s warmth until the last minute. When out of the blue something falls into place and reminds me of why this is a special time of the year, when even the toughest of lifes misfortunes seem to fade into nothingness for a bit. I hope that something comes to you and does so this year. I wish you and yours the happiest of Christmas’s.

    Aw Fuzzy, I love it when you get all warm and fuzzy. I wish you and yours the happiest of Christmases too, truly.


  6. See?
    You’re not alone, kiddo.
    Many feel the same thing.
    It’s turning it around in our mind that’s key here. I spent a relaxing evening last night with some very close friends and let me tell you…it’s Christmas. I felt it, could actually taste it. And it was wonderful. I’m so lucky to have friends.
    Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”,
    sing a carol, bake, listen to a Christmas CD (hint, hint), call an old friend.
    I’m really hoping you magically discover a ‘gingerbread moment’ this week that makes you take an internal holiday inventory all over again. Of all people I know, you possess the true heart of Christmas.
    I pray that you find it before next Monday.
    btw- watch your mailbox. And yes, I wrapped the gift myself. 😉

    smiles and smiles to go,

    I like that ‘A gingerbread moment’ – sounds like something I’d have…or eat.

    I’ve been listening to that cd at least 3 times a day since I got it. I may need a new copy soon.

    What you said about the true heart of Christmas made me cry. Damn you! 😉

    Can’t wait to see the wrapping – remember that word later this week. Have the girls gotten into those cookies yet? Let em have the darn cookies for cripes sake – really.



  7. Ah, ya know…sometimes we just try a bit too hard and things boomerang. You’re creating away and the effort after awhile just gets a bit sticky. Let it go. Have some grinch moments and when you least expect it, the cosmic duality of this universe in which we live will do a flip. Life will be full of cheer. It will be snowing and winter wonderland will re-emerge, if only in your mind. You’ll find in that moment the joy and spirit of Christmas is there again. And you know what? You really don’t need everyone else to be creating that Christmas you love. Because Michael is right. The spirit of the season is right there in your heart where it has always been. Just give it a little breather. It only takes a fleeting moment to create it all over again.
    Not such a serious thing, luv.

    ~ PG

    Good advice sweets. Thanks.


  8. Every year, I notice how the glow of Christmas seem to flicker down; sometimes I think it’s because the Christmas decors aren’t as extravagant as it once used to be, other times I feel that maybe it’s just me. Personally, I think it’s frustrating to be in such a situation. Not to worry, though, cause there’s always next year. So there’s always a chance for us to have a merry Christmas. 🙂

    You’re right, Em. There always is a chance to have a Merry Christmas. I hope this year is a good one for you.


  9. Don’t worry WC I’ll not let your stocking go empty…. M and I are sending you a couple lumps of coal….LMHO

    Hey Ger, at the current rates for fuel, coal doesn’t sound too awful bad to me. 😉


  10. i know EXACTLY how you feel, that is kind of the way i’ve been feeling this month…but this morning i walked into work and sitting on my desk was a minature tree with purple & silver bulbs and lights!! It made my day and made me feel the “x-mas” spirit… I’ve also noticed something else (quite strange anymore these days) people working in stores are actually saying merry x-mas to you….We all got so used to not hearing it or saying it, lest we “offend” someone, that i almost forgot the phrase….hmmm maybe things are starting to turn around again???

    (Shouting from the rooftop!!)
    Merry X-Mas

    Aw, how sweet that you got a cute little tree for your desk. That would make me happy too. Merry Christmas my sweet.


  11. Crap!! I need to get that Easy Button in the mail to you!! Looks like I need to add a case of beer too 😉

    Naw, I’m a cheap date – two bottles of beer will do – and does that easy button actually make things easier or is it just a pacifier for grown ups? 😉


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