Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That Feeling of Christmas

Every year there comes a moment where I remember why it is I like Christmas so much.  I never know when it’s going to happen – it might show up a few weeks before the big day, or maybe even a couple of days after. Sometimes it’s obvious and hard to miss. Others, silent and subtle. But it always manages to find me. It’s usually not in attic, even though I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time in there around the holidays.  And it’s definitely not in the mall, where I spend an incredible amount of money.

 Sometimes it’s in church – either during the Christmas Pageant, when all the kids reenact the whole birth of Christ thing, complete with kids dressed as donkeys - or when the Children’s Choir sings “Silent Night” in the darkened hall, holding flickering candles in their trembling hands.  Both are very nice moments and can usually be counted upon for a goose bump or two.

Other times it’s gotten me at work – wrapping packages for needy families and accepting hand-made gifts, such as the ever-popular “paperweight” (aka chalk coated rock), from kids you know can’t afford anything else are both surefire ways to get the spirit of Christmas flowing.

And speaking of flowing spirits, I can always count on family (and the wine that comes with them) to fill me with cheer.  With so many “sides” to see, things get a bit hectic, but each stop usually provides a moment or two that make it worth the effort.  The food is always good (especially my mom’s walnut chicken). The presents are always appreciated (even Renee’s). And the music, whether it was Vera’s accordion-led sing a longs (RIP), Cousin Christina’s piano solos, or my own holiday Christmix playing in the background, is also a big part of the day.

But it’s typically during the quiet moments that Christmas finds me. Curled up on the couch, squinting at the lights of the tree. Finishing the last glass of wine after most of the guests have gone home.  Watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the hundredth time…

As I get older, the hustle and bustle of the holidays seems to get more stressful, and I wind up wishing I could just conjure the feeling for why we do it. With all the pressure and work that goes into “making” Christmas, I feel myself starting to get a little too anxious for it. I feel the need to go looking for it, but I know I can’t.  So I just go through the motions: buy the gifts, cut the tree, string the lights, wrap the gifts, decorate the tree, play the carols, clean the house, open the gifts, and a thousand other things in hope that the feeling will eventually arrive.

And while I don’t have faith in much, but I do have faith that it’ll come.


  1. Aw, cute. And very true. I wonder if Christmas Feeling knows you're going to be 40 in a few days and still wants to hang out with an old guy. I'm on the fence, myself.

  2. Well if YOU'RE on the fence, then it's time to get a new fence!

    (Yes all, that was a fat joke - directed at a woman - but she knows how sensitive I am about my age, and thus deserves what she gets!)

  3. Wow, Mike. Didn't know you could write something so serious - oh wait, this is your blog. Now I see.

    Our church decided to do a different "original" play this year. I'll miss the old one. And I definitely wish I were going to an accordian-led-sing-a-long.

  4. It's a sturdy fence, so we're straight. Well, I'M straight, anyway.

  5. ba da bump! You need some new material Chris

    and Erica, what, pray tell, does a "different" church play include? Please tell me that they updated it so that JC's mom finds out who her real baby daddy is on Jerry Springer

  6. WHAT!? But the fat joke is fresh and cutting edge!? Pa-shaw, Mikey.

  7. a lovely post, Mikey. Glad I stopped by here.

  8. Wow, I feel like I've hopped into a time machine and am now taking part in a conversation in December, 2010! Some helpful advice from the future: bet on the Packers, Mavericks, Bruins and Cardinals, and keep the receipt on your Kardashian wedding gift.