Christmas Eve again.
For many years now, I have not had the Christmas spirit.
Part of it has to do with the fact that I work in retail, in a place that starts to put up Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. Carols are played constantly after Thanksgiving (There are only so many times one can hear Willie Nelson sing “Jingle Bells.”), and the closer you get to the big day, rivers of busy, oblivious people start pouring in.
By the time Christmas gets here, I’m ready for the Fourth of July.
Most of my family passed on long ago, so no aunts, uncles or grandparents to visit. It’s been that way for many years now. My father is in another state, so my mom is the only family of mine that I see.
Most of all, I think it has to do with the fact that I don’t have any kids.
I’ve blogged about that before, but, I really seem to take note of it at this time of year.
Not that I am really bothered by it. You can’t help but realize it when most everyone your age has kids. Can’t really get around hearing about what they’re doing and what they’re buying for them.
It seems that, with kids, you’d really have no choice but to get into this holiday. Decorating the tree, shopping, giving your kids something you know they have wanted for so long, watching them enjoy Christmas with the innocence that only children know. It is their day, for them to enjoy.
This time of year provokes a sort of “measuring stick” for time that has passed. The day is one which is planned for, sticking in your memory for a while, one which you’d look back on and “remember when.” Remembering your family, seeing how the passage of time has fit itself on people you care about, feeling the absence of those who have gone, and taking special note of just where your kids are at in their lives.
People are usually a bit bewildered when I say I don’t get into Christmas that much anymore. Inevitably, they usually conclude that I would feel differently if I had kids. Not that they mean anything untoward by it, just a casual observation made about something that permeates their own lives.
I am sure they are right.
For those of you who have children, take a bit of time tomorrow to appreciate just how blessed you are. Make it a time that they will always reflect on with wonderful memories. Take pictures, so when they’re all grown up, you can all look back on Christmas’ past and laugh, remembering each one.
They may not show it now, but, they sure will appreciate it later.
So will you.
(Have a great Christmas, everyone!)