Ever since I started working retail, I have had a really hard time with Christmas. There’s something about being told to ‘fuck off’ on Christmas Eve that makes it hard to enjoy the season. Walking through a mall at this time of year still makes me anxious, and invokes some deeply buried rage. I’m not really sure where it comes from, but it is definitely there. Walking through the Eaton Centre last week, the Christmas songs were playing and I just kept thinking that the only reason why they were playing Christmas songs was to encourage people to spend money. It’s not like they decorate and play Christmas music to spread the love. Okay, so I’m bitter and jaded, but lately I just feel this incredible need to distance myself from outrageous displays of capitalistic frenzy. It’s not like large corporations give a damn about their employees (here and elsewhere).

I’m trying desperately to feel some kind of Christmas spirit, but it just isn’t happening. I keep trying to think of a meaningful way to spend Christmas, but I can’t come up with a single thing. I feel like cocooning. I remember how magical Christmas used to seem when I was a child. I remember lying awake on Christmas Eve, watching for the light of Rudolph’s red nose on the snow outside my window. In my memory, those Christmases were warm and bathed in deep, rich color: The dark green of the Christmas tree, red velvet decorations in my grandparents’ living room, shining silver cutlery that was only used for Christmas, silly paper hats in a rainbow of color that came from Christmas crackers that never really worked. I remember the heat and the orange glow from the fireplace, the itch of hand-knit sweaters, falling asleep against my mother on Christmas eve at church. Safety, warmth, the feeling of being loved and protected. No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop time. The world seems colder now.

One of my favorite memories from Christmas was when my little cousin Kelly staged a nativity play in the living room, using the family members. My cousin Caitlin who was about three was very angry at being cast in the role of Baby Jesus, because what three-year-old wants to pretend to be a baby? All I remember from her theatrical endeavors was my uncle’s line, playing one of the wise men, “This is gold, it costs very much.” Poignant words, haha.

How to recapture some of those feelings of love and magic when I have seen some of the darkness in the world?


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Karla said,

    Go do something Christmasey with small children. They will be full of awe, wonder, and excitement. It rubs off.

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