Christmas was always my favorite holiday. There was nothing I didn’t love about it. The day after Thanksgiving, I begged my parents to get out all the decorations. I felt emotionally connected to holiday traditions, snow, presents, lights, advent, warmth–I practically bled red and green.
I was twelve when I realized that was no longer so. I was a seventh grader, not-so-enjoying my first year of middle school. My homework load had become more significant. For the first time in my life, I experienced true exhaustion–not being able to keep my eyes open, begging for more sleep in the morning, and watching the clock at school intently, feeling like the day would never end. Puberty and the age of identity crisis was in full swing. Christmas got buried somewhere in a corner of my heart beneath piles of love letters to school crushes and pre-algebra practice tests.
I was in the orthodontist’s office getting my braces colors changed. In an effort to regain the enthusiasm I’d once had, I asked for red and green. “Wow,” the doctor said. “I’m loving your Christmas spirit!”
This is the fourth Christmas since my loss of excitement. I need some chocolate-candy cane Viagra for my soul, I suppose. It’s not like I’m not trying to be spirited about the holidays. In fact, I think I’m doing the best I’ve done in four years. I’m even listening to Christmas music right now. Maybe this will be the year I rediscover the warm enthusiasm my inner child once had for this beautiful time of year.