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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Blues.......I gotz 'em

half and half
eggs
juice
butter

Oh, hey, sorry, just making my list for the grocery store. Got more baking to do tonight. After all, it is the Christmas season. It's the time of year for magic, caroling, decorating the tree and spending time with family, holiday shopping, writing out cards. Normally I've got it. But the past few years, I've started to lose my grasp on things. Maybe it's because my kids are getting older. Maybe it's because I'm so far away from my Mom, but it gets tougher every year for me to get into the Christmas spirit. When I lived in Jersey, I looked forward to this time of year as soon as my Thanksgiving Dinner was digested. But since I moved here to WV, it gets harder and harder for me to get into the spirit every year. A few years ago, we didn't even get a tree. The kids put up pictures of decorated Christmas trees next to the fireplace, with a request for Santa to leave the presents there. Pathetic, huh?

This year it's probably the worst it's ever been. Yes, I'm stressed about money. Who isn't? And I'm also stressed that it is exactly ONE WEEK until Christmas Day, and I haven't baked nearly as much I have in previous years, nor have I written out a single card, my house isn't the slightest bit decorated (except for about 6 cards taped up in a doorway). We have the tree standing in the garage and I'm hopeful that it will eventually make its way into the house. I'll have the girls decorate it this weekend. But since we've had basketball games or practices every night, a wedding back in NJ this past weekend, band concerts, Christmas parties for various activities, we haven't had a single moment to relax.

This year I promised 16 that I'd get her a varsity lettermen's jacket for Christmas. Unfortunately, the store where I want to make the purchase doesn't have very convenient hours, so we haven't even made it there for her to TRY ON a damn jacket. Yes she'll get her jacket, but it might not be until after St. Patrick's Day. Merry Christmas, darling.

And for the love of God why can't I stop crying?? I'm telling you, the older I get, the more emotional I get. And I say FUCK YOU MENOPAUSE!! I swear, I cry all the damn time. At the stupidest of things. I read an article on AOL about a guy whose seeing eye dog saved his life after the guy fell onto the tracks from a subway platform. When I read that the dog is 11 and will be retiring soon, and that the guy can't afford to keep him and he's looking for a home for the dog, I cried like a baby. Then I remembered that my friend Mindy just lost her kitty this week, and cried even harder.

I miss my Dad, I miss our talks on the phone. If he were alive today, we'd be discussing how ridiculous Ruben Amaro Jr.'s decisions have become when it comes to acquiring new players for the Phillies. And Dad would be so excited if he knew that there was going to be a new 24 movie next summer. But he's gone and I miss him.

I miss my Mom who is thankfully still with us but suffering from COPD and is on oxygen 24/7 these days. I don't know how many more Christmases I'll have with her and being so far away from her just breaks my heart. So naturally, I cry.

I cry for those who will spend Christmas alone this year because they've lost loved ones, or because their loved ones are deployed. I cry at video clips of soldiers and sailors surprising their loved ones by coming home unexpectedly. I cry at sad Christmas songs. Shit I cry at HAPPY Christmas songs. I cry when I hear the Waitresses singing about the guy in the line she's been chasin' all year and they realize that they won't be spending Christmas alone this year after all.

I just have the blues. Am I alone? How do you cheer yourself up and get yourself out of the holiday rut?

19 comments:

  1. Okay... trying this again!

    Promise yourself that you'll put your tree up and at least get the lights on it. If it doesn't get decorated, it'll still look pretty. If it get's decorated: Bonus!

    Our Christmas is in a state of flux right now. We're moving. We could move right now if all of our stuff was in boxes. Which it isn't. Which is driving me NUTS! But I told myself we were going to put up the tree this year, and by God, that tree is UP!

    I also have my Elf on the Shelf. I'm evading reality by regressing to my childhood.

    As for missing loved ones at this time of the year... I hear ya! We lost my grandfather 5 years ago this month. That man loved Christmas like nobody's business. So this time of the year is rough. We've also moved my grandmother to OC (Teri, we should take a road trip to NJ together!). So there's going to be some driving involved to see her for Christmas. But missing them shows that you love them. Which is a strange way to look at it, but so be it.

    I've resolved this year to take the stress off. If the cookies don't get baked until the day after Christmas (or not at all), so be it. If I decide to make a gingerbread house that decides to implode while I'm putting peppermints on the roof... oh well!

    The cards aren't going to address themselves and I'm sure as hell not going to do it! But that doesn't mean we aren't loved. If the presents don't get wrapped, they're still going to be appreciated. If the snowman is lopsided it doesn't mean the dog won't pee on it!

    Okay... maybe I went too far with that one. But hey, life isn't perfect! :)

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  2. I puffy heart you so hard right now, T. You're right, on all accounts! And I'd definitely be up for a road trip with you. Merry Christmas to you and Ken and good luck with the move!

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  3. Snarkalitarooneybooboo....I hereby offer to you my services as an "Adopted" Dad.

    I am an Old Guy with children who are probably in your age group, so this idea wouldn't be a stretch in that regard.

    My Mom is 75, so The Inevitable is a day closer with each sunrise.

    Such is the Cycle of Life.

    I don't know if you are a Religious Person, but here is my favorite verse from the Bible: 2nd Corinthians, Ch.5, Ver.7 - For we walk by Faith, not by Sight.

    I'm glad that you are my Blogging Buddy.

    Merry Christmas, Snarky.

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  4. Girl do I feel ya. I just put on happy pants as best I can and make lists. Lots of lists. Then when I see them getting checked, crossed off, or erased, I'm like Woo hoo! Another one bites the dust, and break into my best "bad ass Freddie" moves and start singing. You can't cry and sing Another One Bites the Dust. But if you find yourself getting ferclempt, there's always "Fat Bottomed Girls" for a laugh. Stupid songs, that's my anti-crying remedy.
    It'll be ok, just a rough patch. I got something for ya, it ALWAYS puts me in the Christmas mood:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy55Om-yrII
    Hang in there girl, I love your snarky self!!! :D

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  5. Awww :( You're not alone, Mama, but that doesn't make it any easier, huh? Screw the baking and the tree--I say hop a flight to NJ and do up Christmas right. Which is to say watch episodes of The Sopranos and eat. My NJ experience is very limited...

    Hugs <3

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  6. I feel your pain. I just got my fake, incredibly small tree up last night after realizing all the trees in my town have been sold out. It took everything I had to put the lights on it. Still not decorated.

    Money is always an issue every Christmas and having older kids that want only money makes it all the more real.

    Christmas hasn't been the same since my Gram died nearly 5 years ago.

    But you know what, it's okay to cry and feel (as long as your pants aren't crying, I'd say you are good)!

    I'm blowing lucky hugs your way and hoping that you get into a spirit that you are comfortable with! Hope the blues turn into smiles and laughter!

    :)

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  7. Tree is up but not decorated. Only other decor is stocking on mantel and a couple centerpieces. No baking done at all. Cards just done last night (includes school pictures I never got around to sending). Gifts mostly bought but not wrapped. Would so much rather nap than do anything else at home. S.A.D.-you suck!

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  8. Tree is up but not decorated. Only other decor is stocking on mantel and a couple centerpieces. No baking done at all. Cards just done last night (includes school pictures I never got around to sending). Gifts mostly bought but not wrapped. Would so much rather nap than do anything else at home. S.A.D.-you suck!

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  9. I couldve written this myself! You are not alone....and I wish I could give you advice on how to cheer up! But....reading this made me think of the Wildwood days and it brought a smile to my face....both of my parents are gone so it definitely pits a damper on the spirit....it was their favorite time of the year!

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  10. Well, good Lord...now I'M crying!!

    I hate that you feel like you do, but no...you're not alone here. I cried about the dog and the guy and slobbered like a fool. Thank God the dog did what he did...but still, I cried.

    I just spent over $100 at lunch today on stuff for my husband for Christmas. Stuff he doesn't need and stuff I shouldn't afford but I wanted to get it so I did. I'll be kicking my own ass in January for that.

    You're a doll. Try not to cry. Try to laugh about crying. Sometimes it's enough to get you through the day.

    Love. =)

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  11. You are NOT ALONE! This season has been a grumpfest for me, and I so appreciate your honesty. I am hugging you and just glad to know one other person out there who isn't gleefully waving those jingle bells. xo, Teri.

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  12. I'm with you....I'm blue and not feeling the spirit at all.

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  13. Ok, you won't like this but here goes:
    I don't celebrate Christmas so I don't have any of the pressures some people have. I can give advice though
    1. Don't celebrate it for a change.
    2. Do something different. Invite people over for a celebration BUT they each have to bring a dish of food. If you want, you do the list of foods that you require and each person has to pick a dish from your list that they will cook for a certain amount of people. That way, you are "not out of pocket" (money).
    3. Those who can't cook or won't cook can do all the washing up, and tidying up afterwards.
    4. Get a few people to organise games for the evening. Each person brings an old photo of when they were a baby and everyone has to guess who was the baby. A prize for the winner of course.

    I'm sure you can have fun without the big cost.

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  14. Teri, I HEAR you! We just wrapped up our 7th year of Camouflage Christmas and I'm all Christmas'd out. This year, I decided that if my kids want big decorations, they can do them. They can help keep the house clean enough to put out the decorations. I don't have to feel guilty about it. We all have seasons in our lives. I'm in a season where I LOVE Christmas, but just don't need to decorate my house to prove or feel guilty about it. This year, just relax about what didn't get done and love on your family as much as you can. Next year, you may blow the neighborhood transformer with all the lights and decorations. See, you're saving up your energy for when you get to piss everyone else off.

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  15. I am totally with you on this. I used to enjoy the holidays when my kids were little and we did the whole Santa thing. Now that they are older, it's just not as much fun and I tire more easily. The shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating---it's getting to be too much for me. I'm doing mu best to fight the blues but somedays I'll admit--I just don't even want to get out of bed!

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  16. Teri - you sound exhausted. I'm so sorry you're down. It is always hard to feel down, but around Christmas it seems to be doubly difficult - sadness mixed with guilt for feeling sad.

    It is such an emotional time, particularly as family dynamics change, forcing changes in the things that meant "holiday" to us. Children growing up. Parents aging.

    I wish there was an easy answer, but there's not. I do have a couple suggestions that might help you. First, give yourself permission to grieve over what is lost: your dad, your mother's health, early childhood with your kids, etc.

    Second, give yourself a break. Don't beat yourself up for not recreating what you've been told is "the way" to celebrate. Figure out the 2 or 3 things that are most important to you and your family and do those. Put up the tree, get a giant roll of Costco ribbon, and wrap it all around it - done. If more happens, great. If not, it's all good. Use window paint markers (cheap in the automotive section at WalMart) to make messages on windows and mirrors to decorate quickly. Take a silly Christmas picture. Put lights on 2 bushes, instead of the whole house. Do what is important to you, but scaled back for quick simplicity.

    Third, do something unique to your own family. What is that one thing you and your children do that means holidays to you? If there isn't one, start a simple one. Get ice cream and go look at Christmas lights. Go ice skating wearing your sweaters backward. Fill someone's car with crumpled up wrapping paper. Read the Christmas story. Make a table cloth out of a sheet and put hand prints on every year. Go to a prayer service. It could be anything. Just make it something that resonates with you and your family, and simple, relatively quick, and repeatable. Starting and keeping your own tradition draws your holiday thoughts from the past and into the present, allowing you to release the stress the past puts on you.

    Lastly, reach out to someone. The best way to lift your own spirits is to lift someone else's. One year I called our church and got the names of everyone who'd been widowed that year. We had everyone over for hot cocoa and board games. New friends were made. Lonely people comforted. My spirits were lifted. Make cookies for neighbors you don't know. Invite anyone you know who has no local family over for dinner (have everyone bring something to control costs). Start a "secret snowball fight" in your neighborhood (put simple drawing of a snow ball in your neighbors mail box, with a note stating they've been "hit" in the snowball fight & must copy the picture, hang the original in a window for all to see, and secretly give the copy and a copy of the instructions to another neighbor.). Shovel or sweep someone's walk. There's a million low cost ways to reach out. Each and everyone will lift your spirits.

    I hope you feel the joy of the season soon. Give yourself permission to be sad, then give yourself permission to find the reasons to smile. You deserve that gift!

    (((Hugs))) - gina

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  17. Such a heartfelt post. My parents are still here but live in Florida so I don't get to see them that much. I get down there when I can, and talk on the phone a lot. At least they both learned how to use a cell phone.

    So sorry to hear you are a bit bummed out. Hopefully you can cheer up a bit and enjoy the season with friends and family around you.

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  18. being that i've been in & out of some deep blues over the last couple of years, saying "I puffy heart you so hard right now" - well that just puts a witty cheer in me-noggin. thanks chica :).

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  19. Teri,

    I'm sorry you had such a rough go of things. It's okay to cry. Remember that. I do it alot! Like a lot. And I applaud you for putting it out there. It's hard to admit you're sad. It seems like this year socked a number of people in the gut. I'm ready for January this year.

    Don't be hard on yourself. Be kind. Take care of you. Take a break. Go buy some keebler cookies if you need to.

    And look forward to me crashing at your house for either the Marine Corp Half or BlogU.

    Love to you!

    Joy

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