Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas: Fake It Til You Make It

How easy is it to get into a funk on Christmas Eve?


It doesn't matter if tomorrow I'll be sitting at dinner with my kids, and doing all the things we usually do on Christmas day. It doesn't matter if I'll be driving out to see my parents and siblings next week. Today, I was alone.

And I look around the house and think that this place looks like someone lives here who doesn't give a shit.

I didn't decorate for Christmas.

I had good reasons.


All of those reasons were perfectly valid 2 weeks ago, and, they are still valid now.

I didn't think it would weigh on me, but, weirdly, having not decorated might be the thing that pushed me into a funk.

I go for walks in the evening, in the neighborhood, or at the mall (because I'm old) and you know what? It's beautiful. All of the trees lit up, and the way everyone has suddenly decided to decorate so tastefully this year (for a change) looks lovely.

Even though I think it's mostly bullshit, it is beautiful.

I don't think giving gifts is bullshit--I like that part. I don't care about getting them, but I do love giving them. I like seeing everybody and spending time with the people I love. All of that stuff is nice--what I think is bull is probably the same stuff you think is bull: Frantic retailers in a panic, using a sales pitch that seems to imply that you HAVE TO buy the most ridiculous shit (all made in China) because your Christmas won't be happy without it, or, every single charity in your town reminding you that it is the season of giving, so give, already, or, the whiny people who think there is a "War on Christmas" even though we spend literally 2 months out of the year talking about almost nothing but Christmas.

You know...the usual.

Also? We've all been in a bit of a funk beyond the usual seasonal funk--that's a very real thing. It's been a tough year for many of us. Fucking David Bowie died, OK? That's how 2016 STARTED. And it did not get better.

I guess we need a little Lovely, to soften the crap of the season. We need to make it pretty and dress it up. We need lights that twinkle and a little tree to put gifts under, and we need Grandma Gertrude's antique red and green table runner on the table. (Side note: I never met Grandma Gertrude. She was my husband's mother, who died before he and I ever met. But I have her table runner, for some reason, and damnit, it's mine now.)

So guess what I'm doing? Alone in my house, on Christmas Eve? Even though it's ridiculous...?

I'm putting up my little Christmas tree.

I'm putting up my tree even though I'm alone and when people come over to open presents tomorrow, they'll be here for all of a couple hours and probably won't care one way or the other.

It's all of 4 feet tall (if even) and there honestly isn't any room for any presents under there unless it's just a bunch of little blue boxes from Tiffany, or something, so, I'm gonna stack them around the tree like I've been building that pile for months, even though I literally just wrapped all of them today.

Fake it til you make it...right?

But seriously, folks....

I'm OK.

Some people are not OK.

Some people don't have anyone coming over tomorrow.

Some people can't fake it til they make it. They've got mental health or addiction issues, or their families don't accept them, or they have no home, much less a fucking Christmas tree.

That's not me trying to shame you (or myself) into feeling bad about being in a funk at Christmas when you have a roof and food and your health. That's just me saying, be kind to yourself tonight. Be kind to others.

We live in a time where we all have our own little personal shows to produce on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram--the shows that have us looking pretty and holding it together all the time. Even people who take bad pictures of their food are happy with the food. Good for them. But it's all for show. That fabulous, badly photographed feast maybe blew their whole food budget for a week and they got into a fight with their spouse over it, but that stuff isn't online. Just the good stuff is showing.

So know that nobody is perfect, despite how well-produced their little online show is.

And understand that you're OK.

And if you need someone to talk to, let's talk.

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