In case past blog posts haven’t made it abundantly clear, I am, in general, a Christmas person. Like, the kind of Christmas person who would, and did, just this year, purchase five (yes, five) Christmas-themed sweatshirts, not to mention a Christmas-themed T-shirt and several pairs of Christmas socks. The kind of person who wears that Christmas apparel. To the coffee shop. To the grocery store. Everywhere.
I’ve probably written about this before, but most of my reasons for needing to celebrate Christmas in a way that emphasizes joy and building new traditions that belong to me and my husband sit relatively close to the surface. The opportunity afforded by the Christmas season to step outside of one’s normal routine and the permission it gives to do things that would usually be a little socially … dubious, such as the aforementioned wearing of an ugly-Christmas-sweater-style sweatshirt in public, fall into that category, as do my habits of playing nonstop Christmas music and engaging in excessive Christmas crafting and Christmas decorating. In a world that’s only become more unpredictable, being so unashamedly jolly is the ultimate escape.
But my relentless need to wring every last drop out of the holiday season but not like that, only like this runs deeper.
Indeed, Christmas hasn’t always been a happy day of the year for me. (And yes, I realize that I’m not a special snowflake in this regard.) Many past Christmases have been kind of/pretty/very traumatic, and though I’m now able to talk about those particular yuletide experiences with the same jovial tone I do other serious stuff I’ve actively decided to laugh about rather than wallow in, it’s taken a lot of hard work, intentional crafting, reframing, and, yes, therapy for me to reclaim Christmas, choose to acknowledge but leave aside the negative aspects of my history with it, and keep only the elements that better my existence, reorganizing them into a tacky but increasingly beautiful(?) collage that I proudly add to and display every holiday season.
I’d say, as I glance around my apartment, which is both literally and metaphorically glowing with Christmas cheer, that I’m excelling at this self-assigned task.