My Christmas spirit has been lacking. I’m not the most festive of people, but I do enjoy baking Christmas cookies with my kids and impromptu caroling in the living room. This time of year is supposed to be the fun part about being a parent. You get to immerse yourself in gingerbread and glitter and indulge your inner 10 year old. I’m not above crafting glue snowflakes and cotton ball Santa beards with my little ones. I like to act corny and cheesy and I don’t care how silly it all seems.
This year has been different. I’ve been feeling really pensive and almost melancholy. The news has been filled with violence and civil unrest. People have been voicing opinions that show how limited their ability for compassion is and perhaps we aren’t as evolved a country as we like to think we are…or maybe as I like to think we are. To put it plainly, it’s bummed me out to see how beneath the smiles and funny memes, people have this innate ability to be coldhearted and cruel. It’s been a pretty chilling juxtaposition to the season of happiness and fellowship that is supposed to be filling the air right now. The news isn’t much better. If anything bad hasn’t happened in your area, not to worry, there is no shortage of horror stories from towns across the country for you to enjoy. I usually think this about the media, but right now my reserves are low and the lack of humanity seems unusually harsh against the glow of my Christmas lights.
I’m taking matters into my own hands and I am putting an end to it. I’m turning off the set and I am going to fake it until my saccharine turns to cinnamon and sugar. I’m not talking about Christmas vests and Santa earrings…although I might if the situation becomes urgent. I think I’m going to start playing A Christmas Carol and The Santa Clause until I know all of the words. I’ve started a caroling station on Pandora and we finally put up the tree. I wrote out my Christmas cards and I’m taking the kids to look at lights. I need this for the sake of my mental health and my kids need me to be goofy and cheery so they can laugh about what a dork Mom was when they are older. I’m burnt out on shittiness and I don’t want to fight…at least not until after Christmas.
ETA: I’ve been thinking about this post all day. I’ve indulged in a bit on navel gazing. I certainly don’t want to minimize anyone’s pain or disregard the bad things that are happening in the world right now. I think that we all have a lot of soul searching to do as we learn about the injustices and horrific acts that are occurring around the world. They need to be considered if we are ever to get past them. This entry was really an effort to share how disheartening it can be to hear about the sad state of affairs as they stand and it’s affect on my state of mind. Maybe there is a little bit of low grade depression thrown in for good measure. I wrote this post this morning as a reaction to watching the news with my 10 year old son and him catching a glimpse of a news report detailing how the Taliban attacked a school in Pakistan and executed 130 young children. I still struggle trying to explain school shootings and his questions about police brutality that have arisen. I had to turn off the television set. I want to shield and protect him for just a little while and let both of my kids believe that magic is real, even if it is all held together with glue, paper mache’ and little white lies. Innocence is fleeting and I just want to preserve that sweetness for them. If that means that I have to shut my eyes and ears for the next week or so, so be it.