Today is the day I finally start listening to Christmas music. I usually wait until a month before Christmas because I don’t want to get tired of it before the season officially begins. My sister has already started (after Remembrance Day) and I get poked fun at a lot for it, as twins often do. For our differences, for how she can so easily jump into the Christmas Spirit while it seems like I coast on by without a care for the holidays.
But it isn’t that I don’t care or that I hate Christmas. I already explained why I wait to listen to Christmas music, not that a lot of people understand that (or at least they don’t seem too) but since my mom died it’s been hard for me to get excited for Christmas.
“That’s sad,” people tell me on the rare occasion that I open up about it.
And I know it is. I don’t mean it to be, that’s why I don’t talk about it, don’t tell people why decorating can seem like a chore, why it’s hard to change the radio station to all those happy songs (except for Christmas Shoes, a stupid song for a number of reasons.) Aside from the obvious, I’m not really sure why I have trouble. Yes, almost four years ago my mom was dying during Christmas, so my last Christmas with her wasn’t the Hallmark Moment it should have been. Last year was the first year I actually felt excited for it, when I started listening to Christmas music a week earlier than usual.
And now I’m back to normal, or what has been normal for nearly four years now, my new normal.
And I hate it because I know that people think that I’m being a downer and that I don’t care about Christmas. That I’m being a Scrooge because of how long I wait to listen to Christmas music, to decorate.
But I’m trying. I’m really, truly trying because I do love Christmas. I love the songs, I love the lights, I love the decorations. But it’s hard for me to feel that love sometimes, to get myself to that point.
But I’m trying.
Sometimes I just need a trigger, not the bad kind, the kind that makes you sweat, makes you panic, makes you want to cry, but a Christmas trigger. Some sort of Christmas song, not necessarily my favourite, that makes me sing out loud, watching a Christmas movie with friends, maybe even just the snow falling so softly outside and covering all the green. I don’t always know what it will be, if it will even happen, but I wait for it, I look for it, something that brings me that Christmas feeling.
I’m leaving for Florida in a week and my friends and I are spending a few days at Disney and Universal Studios. I’m excited to see all the Christmas decorations that the parks will have set up. Harry Potter scarves and warm butterbeer, Christmas trees at the Magic Kingdom with Christmas songs playing every so often. Maybe that will be it, a spark of Christmas in non-Christmassy weather. Stranger things have happened.
Yesterday I was in Toronto with some friends, and when we were walking towards Union Station we saw some of the window displays in some of the stores. It wasn’t like some kid’s movie, where I was filled with the Christmas Spirit and became immediately happy and jolly, but it was something. And I’m happy for that.
(Picture from a Christmas window display in Toronto.)