feeling

that elusive christmas-y feeling.

i don’t know what’s wrong with me. i haven’t been able to feel what has been dubbed as “the christmas spirit” at all this year. i’ve been frustrated by the number of houses on our street that are completely overloaded with christmas lights and blow-up decorations (you know the ones–they remind me of a jump castle). instead of appreciating these families’ holiday spirit, the only thing i can think is “if these people put half the time, energy, and money into charity work or donations that they put into draping decorations and lights over anything that stands still for more than five seconds, the world would be a better place.”  i know it’s really bitter and sort of hypocritical of me to think this way, but i can’t help it.

i have a couple of days off til my last final on monday, so i thought maybe if i loaded all my christmas cd’s into my itunes and played them really loud while i do chores & stuff… just maybe i’d feel a hint of christmas cheer? so i converted my cd’s into itunes and even downloaded a few songs that i love that i didn’t have in my collection. and as soon as i pressed “play”…

i started crying. i don’t know what on earth is wrong with me.

i think it might have something to do with the way my family dynamic has changed over the years. listening to things like bing crosby and ella fitzgerald and frank sinatra remind me of waking up at mamaw & papaw’s house on the weekends (because i spent EVERY weekend there) to the smell of eggs and bacon and grits and coffee. being scolded for not putting on socks before walking on the kitchen linoleum because it was “freezing cold”. sitting at the table and eating breakfast with mamaw and papaw while the christmas music played. putting the decorations on the tree. being allowed to go on the roof with papaw while he put up decorations but only if i stayed seated in the exact center of the roof and did not move one single inch. waiting on christmas eve for all the family to get there so we could open presents, us kids (there were only the two of us until i was about seven or eight) barely able to contain our excitement. all the yummy food and family and love and general happiness.

and then there was christmas with nana. it used to be held on christmas eve when i was very little, but then as our family grew to amazing numbers. nana has six CHILDREN (if you say “kids”, nana will say, “they are CHILDREN. not GOATS.”), a number of stepchildren that i’m not sure of, 23984709283 grandchildren, and 7760 great-grandchildren. so eventually, we moved our christmas celebration to the saturday after christmas so that all those who had to travel could enjoy christmas day at their respective homes. that’s the tradition we keep with to this day.

those are the things i remember when i think about christmas. being an adult is hard. i wonder if it’s like this for everyone.

now, i’m not so naive or jaded as to think that the problems of today didn’t exist twenty+ years ago. i know there have been times of economic hardship, family quarrels, what have you. but when you grow up and are privy to these types of details, some of the magic goes out of everything. i never really wanted to grow up, but it seems as though everyone around me did. i feel kind of like peter pan, when he goes back to the nursery to find wendy darling all grown up with children of her own.

this is not in any way supposed to be a pity party. it’s merely an exploration of why i’ve been feeling the way i have.

i remember my very first christmas away from my family. it was when we lived in california. i was fortunate enough to spend every christmas with my family until i was twenty-four years old. that christmas was really hard for me. i remember willy & i went to disneyland one weekend in december. after the fireworks, they had a “snowfall” in front of the castle & on main street, and i sat there bawling my eyes out in the middle of my most favorite place, because i missed my family so much and wouldn’t get to see them.

and now that i’m “all grown up” and the kids of my generation are having kids of their own, things are much harder for me than i ever thought they would be. i wish i knew a way to make it better.

maybe once willy and i have our own children (if we do have any, that is), christmas will feel magical again.

maybe all i need is a trip to see the james island festival of lights with my family.

maybe i need a swift kick in the rear end. 😉

in order to put a little magic into christmas for other people, i’m going to commit to doing some charity work this christmas. i was just saying to willy last night, “i don’t know what i’m going to do with myself over christmas break! i’ll have no homework or studying, and no classes to go to. wow.”  (i haven’t really had a break all year–i went straight from spring semester to summer to fall, with about a week in between each.) well, now i know what to do with that time.

this was pretty hard to write. reliving those old memories in words instead of just in my head was sort of tough. i don’t think i can clearly convey the meaning my family holds for me. when my sister and i were younger, our friends never understood why we were always doing things with family on the weekends. there was always a shopping trip with an aunt, an uncle’s birthday party, a family dinner, etc. we didn’t realize that other families weren’t necessarily like ours. we didn’t know that our friends thought their families were lame, because we thought ours was the coolest ever. now that we’re grown, we know how lucky we’ve been and can properly appreciate what we have, because it’s really something that should be treasured and never taken for granted.

download this:  have yourself a merry little christmas by judy garland. because it’s one of my favorite christmas songs, sung by one of my all-time favorite movie stars, in one of my very favorite movies (meet me in st. louis).

merci beaucoup

i have decided to singlehandedly bring back the thank you note. 

i don’t think any of us display the gratitude these days that we should. we have *so* many things to be thankful for. which reminds me that i haven’t been keeping up with my thankful thursday posts, but here is my solemn vow that i will be much better about it. 

things are looking up for me lately, in a big way. i asked my doctor to switch my anti-depression meds at my physical last week, and she did, for which i am already extremely thankful. i had gotten to a point where i just didn’t care to do anything that i loved. it wasn’t that i didn’t *want* to, because i did. i guess i sort of felt like i didn’t have enough emotion to paint or draw or write anything of worth. 

so my doctor agreed to switch my meds back to the one i was on when we lived in california. i felt that i was more productive & active then. the transition from one to the other during the last week has been really rough. i’ve been an emotional mess! even had a bit of a breakdown on monday, when i felt like a pressure cooker. i also had forgotten what it felt like to get choked up at everything, especially beautiful art or music. that’s how i used to be, and i realize now how much the other meds i was on were suppressing my actual emotions, even the good ones. 

in other news, yesterday was beautiful. i spent the day with the the hubster, foxycleopatra, mom, and dad-in-law (my dad had to work, unfortunately). we went to a few antique stores and each found our own respective treasures. mine were a gorgeous antique piano that was only *slightly* out of tune and was only $200!!! mom offered to buy it for me for my birthday, but i’ve decided not to have a birthday this year. i’m staying 28. nobody believes a girl when she says she’s 29. 😉   i also found a beautiful antique vanity, for which i am still pining away. it was only $130. again, i insisted that it couldn’t be my birthday present, b/c i’m simply not having a birthday. 

in the midst of the antiquing, we went to momma brown’s bbq for lunch. AMAZING. really great southern food. i had some mustard-based bbq with an assortment of my fave starches & veggies: lima beans, dirty rice, sweet potatoes, rutabagas (my new #1 favorite)… comfort food!  mmm.

after the fun family day, hubster & i went over to our friends’ house for some fun. we played with their two adorable kids for a bit before they went to bed, and then we had adulty conversation before playing a few games of hearts, which i had somehow never played before. i always love spending time with these friends. we live in the same neighborhood, just a street away, even house-hunted and bought our houses together, yet we don’t get to see one another nearly enough! crazy. anyway, it was a lovely day, all in all. 

so back to the thank you note revival. if you are reading this and i have your address, you can fully expect to see a thank you note from me sometime in the future. if you suspect i don’t have your address, then send it to me. i may just want to thank you for being you! 🙂

download this:  sodom, south georgia by iron & wine or at least click on the link & give it a listen. i love the first line: “papa died smiling…”  even though it seems sad, it actually makes me happy. it makes me think of someone who had a wonderfully amazing life, loved many, and felt loved. 

today’s fave etsy item:  majestic typewriter by white elephant vintage. i want a vintage typewriter so badly. (i also found a few really cool antique ones yesterday, but i haven’t found the absolute perfect one yet.)  while you’re there, check out all the other cool stuff at white elephant vintage!

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