Not Deferential Enough: Surviving the season

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2018 in Opinion

Not Deferential Enough: Surviving the season

by Gina Hamilton

Every now and then I find myself wondering, "Am I too old for this?" When something that once seemed to be a source of great joy becomes nothing more than a chore, for instance.

Like now. I love the holidays ... well, typically I love the holidays. I love decorating, I love baking, I love making lists, shopping, shipping gifts to loved ones far away ... the whole bit.

This year,  even with a toddler granddaughter who should be inspiring me to see it again through new eyes, I'm finding that I don't. I don't love it at  all. In fact, I wish none of it had to happen.

Part of it was having a serious back problem that threw me wildly off schedule, I suspect. Part of it is having six ... yes, six ... dogs in the house. Part of it is my son's regularly scheduled seasonal affective disorder, which puts a pall on everything. Part of it is just not having enough help, in the most effective ways.

And part of it is, yes, I'm getting too old for this. Oh, I did it. I did it all. The tree was bought and brought in, the lights were put up, the creche and the various decorations installed where they usually go, the candles in the windows, the wreaths on the doors, the stockings hung with care, the snow globes and music boxes and candy dishes and everything precisely where it should be; everything was shipped in time, every gift was purchased and wrapped, everything for Christmas luncheon was bought or ordered, every card was sent -- and I got two in return, which leads me to suspect that everyone's getting too old for this. It's the 20th, and I still have to bake cookies, but I don't have to bake a lot, since the ones that had to be shipped have been sent. I can finish them tonight or tomorrow. We have tickets to the holiday concert on Saturday afternoon, and we'll go, of course. The Yule celebration will have to be moved inside because of pouring rain -- can't be helped -- but it's ready to go. I lit the Hanukkah candles every night.

But we canceled our Boxing Day party two years ago, when people stopped coming in any great number anyway and it seemed that it was a lot of trouble and expense, and we consoled ourselves that it was winter, after all, and we'd have a party in the summer, one that never happened. The cards stopped coming in any great number; nobody is particularly interested in helping decorate the tree, or the cookies, or the mantle. It's not a celebration, it just seems like more work. And the house isn't remotely clean enough for guests even if we get any.

There is the baby to look forward to; I bought her gifts with great anticipation. It was difficult even getting our son and heir to confess what he wanted to have; Chris had a small list of hobby items.

I hope I'm not the only one feeling like this. Or maybe I hope I am. I'm just not sure anymore.

All I know is, it's definitely time for a vacation. A real one, somewhere warm and comfortable, with sweet adult beverages and a stack of books to hand.

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