For every day that we get closer to Christmas, I slip a little bit further.
For every hour that my children anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus, I slip a little bit further.
For every present that has been bought and wrapped and placed under the tree, I have slipped a little bit further.
For every holiday party attended and/or talked about, I have slipped a little bit further.
Into what? Where am I slipping? Depression, my dears. The deep, dark depths of black-laden depression.
Christmas is my second favorite holiday. The food, the gifts, the shopping sprees, the joy on the faces of all the children, the spirit of the season, the bells, the jingles, the wreaths and trees. I love every aspect of Christmas from the colored lights to the old time carols, the joyous bell ringers to the falling white snow.
Not this year.
This year...needs to be over.
The amount of change that is happening this year is far too much for this little woman to bear. Too much of my comfort zone has been extracted and what I am left with is a shell of painful emotions and a perma smile facade. I am a fake. I pretend that this season is like any other and yet I am dying inside. I wish it were the first week of January so that I didn't have to feel this way.
They say the first year is the hardest. Dawg says that's not true. I am inclined to believe him over the masses but at the same time, I hope that it gets easier.
As for the changes, I am trying to take them in stride. Our plans are, as of now, as follows...
Last Night: Drive around delivering Christmas Cards and viewing all sibling's Christmas Trees. ((Totally didn't happen because another wrench was thrown into my plans and I lost it completely. Totaly crying, freak-out session that did nothing to make me feel any better! Instead I spent the evening wrapping gifts, finishing homemade presents, and wrapping up a million and one loose ends so that the next couple of days goes by smoothly.))
Tonight: Girl Scout Christmas Party complete with 15 hyped up girls and their families, an ornament exchange, and a cookie exchange (as if any of us needs any more Christmas goodies).
Christmas Eve: Both Hubby and I have to work (probably full days) with the kids at daycare. Miss Insanity is closing at 3 pm so one of us will need to get off work by then. Then we will head home to load up all the presents for my parents and head over for a dinner of non-traditional Chili with my parents and step siblings.
Christmas Day: Open presents with Hubby and kids in the morning and then head over to Bro and Sis-in-laws house for traditional Christmas half-feast. Head back home after the feast and present exchange to an Appetizer dinner and game playing with Lady K and maybe Crazy Kat.
Day after Christmas: No work, no school...sleep in late and spend the day playing on Max's new XBOX...if it gets here in time for Christmas!!!
Sounds like a full and fun couple of days, right? Not really. This is where all the changes come in. We have never before driven from house to house to say our Holiday Greetings before. This year, it feels sort of mandatory. Christmas Eve has always been spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house. This year, Grandma is gone and Grandpa is in a nursing home where no one has even bothered to decorate his room. There is no setting up nor viewing the village that I had come to love. I won't mention the Chili dinner. That just is what it is. As for Christmas Day...well, my mom will be driving several hours to meet up with my sister for a few minutes and then heading off to a cousins house. My Mother-in-law is gone, her decorations spread amongst the houses of her children as small, daily reminders that she isn't coming back. Her house stands empty with no heat and no cheer as Dad is living with his girlfriend instead. Dinner won't be the grand feast-to-end-all-feasts and if Thanksgiving is any indication, leftovers will be scarce. The appetizer dinner in the evening, that was my idea, as a way to satisfy a craving I've been having and hopefully ending the day on the tiniest sliver of joy. Maybe. Probably not. But definitely maybe.
Am I bitching and whining ans woe-is-meing? Yes. But really, can you blame me? The Christmas Spirit has all but completely died around here.
And my second favorite holiday is ruined. *sigh*
At least I will have my Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Bites. Now I'll just hope for the Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts to come, too.