I love Christmas. Really, I do. It's easily my favorite time of year, (also because I get incredibly spoiled, as it's also my birthday month,) and I love the goodwill and cheer that oozes out of people about mid-December and lingers until sometime in the first week of January.
Personally, though, this season moves and excites me - and in the process, it turns me into a crazy, crying, laughing, moody girl. One moment I can laughing out loud for sheer joy in a parking lot of all places - all of twelve hours later I am in tears for my commute.
I think my poor little self wasn't built for such highs and lows of emotion, and so every now and then breaks down into either maniacal giggles or despairing sighs and tears. Although it seems like the type of problem that dutiful dads, brothers, boyfriends and guy friends leave strictly to the girls to handle, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a reason for this emotional roller-coaster called Christmastide; as illogical and confusing as it may seem.
The crux is: I'm too finite. The highs of a season built around a concept that I am immeasurably loved by Almighty God, combined with the human lows of overdue bills and holiday traffic collide in a horrifying collapse of mixed emotions. The Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men that blares through my CD player, the love involved in buying the "perfect" gift and the fully-operational mistletoe that hangs from my ceiling make me long to laugh for the pure beauty of it. The flip side of this beauty - the frustration of not enough time, money or energy to celebrate something that should not be a chore but a joy, makes me cry.
I cry not because I'm crazy, even though I feel that way. I cry because I've lost something - we've lost something. Snuggling down with family to watch scratchy re-runs of claymation Christmas cartoons, humming carols in the candlelight, and baking lumpy homemade cookies used to be enough. As children we didn't think about what it cost for the magic - it was just there, leading us into belief and awe with every time-worn step. We drank in the beauty of the season without feeling foolish or analyzing the truth that it is a man-made tradition or just a time of year - we abandoned ourselves to it wholeheartedly.
So this year, rather than indulge in the crying/laughing craziness that tends to overtake me, I've resolved to try to soak it in. To gaze at lighted trees and crinkly wrapping jobs with the wide-eyed wonder I lost somewhere, and soak up the joy of memory without feeling foolish or wishing for things I can't have.
This Christmas, I want to kiss my moodiness good-bye, and grow up to be a kid.