merry chri-stress?

i know i’m posting a lot today, but i’ve been otherwise occupied over the weekend so this is the day to play catch up. & i wanted to make sure i posted all the fun, happy stuff that follow below before i begin this topic>>>something that i’ve been wanting to get off my chest, but wasn’t too sure about posting because i don’t want to offend or be misconstrued & i want my blog to be about my art & happy, positive stuff…but i am human & as such, i’m not always so happy & cheerful {though generally speaking, i usually am!}… & honestly, this has been bothering me lately, so bear with me as i continue on…

for some time now, i’ve been having this nagging feeling & it’s been making me a bit distressed & uncomfortable lately. but when i went to post my artwords submission last week, i was touched by amanda’s sparkles post. reading her musings about christmastime really spoke to me as it was precisely what has been nagging at me! she put in writing what i’ve been ruminating about for weeks>>>heck, all year!

for as long as i can remember, i’ve always looked forward to this time of year. i love the holiday decorating, the songs, the baking (this is the only time in the year that i do mass quantity of baking!), creating hand-made cards & prezzies, & spending time with friends & loved ones. nothing gives me more pleasure than to get ready for the holidays…

when we lived in maine, i had such a wicked case of the christmas blues because all our family were in chicago…we didn’t always have the extra funds to go to chicago for the holidays, so i had to settle for phone calling, emailing & sending prezzies in the mail. even though i would get so depressed, i still managed to decorate the house, put up a tree, listen to holiday music & bake cookies…i wanted to make it nice for joe, me & our cats. i would still get so sad & upset whenever i would hear of other people’s holiday plans & get- togethers with their families … christmas started to become a source of stress for me & that depressed me even more!

but i was determined to not let that ruin my love for the holiday, the spirit of the season. so those years in maine, i tried to make it as lovely as possible…even if it was just for the two of us. it comforted me to be surrounded by magical, sparkly- lit tree & festive decor around the house. & joe indulged me to help me get through the holiday. after the holidays, i would generally snap out of the depression & go back to my usual cheery self…

now when we moved to the midwest 3 yrs ago, cheeseland to be specific, i thought the holidays would be like how i remembered in christmas pasts. my expectations fell short, to my horror & dismay. i realized that others in my family & circle of friends had their own set of expectations, beliefs, obligations, commitments, etc, that didn’t always mesh so well with mine…it made me realize that you cannot really go back to what once was, despite the fond memories that you might hold>>>people/things change, situations crop up, life moves on. it started to disillusion me & that made me mad! all i ever wanted (& longed for) is a simple christmas, just to be in the company of family & friends & absoultely, positively no drama allowed!… just old-fashioned, loving, positive quality time with loved ones is what i expect at this time of year>>>what i had yearned for all those years we lived in maine. none of this frenetic, rushing-around, over-doing it b-s crap that seems to be happening all around me at what’s supposed to be a very special time of year. i am grateful that i had spent some quality time with my family this past weekend. it was an enjoyable weekend & isn’t that what fond memories are created from?

it saddens me to know that this christmas, my extended family will be scattered about, doing their own thing because of prior obligations & commitments…but i won’t let that bring me down. i’ve trimmed the tree, decked the halls, cranked out the tunes & my dh & i will have a holly, jolly christmas this year to borrow some words from that ol’ burl ive’s song… & i sincerely hope that you & yours will too.

if you’ve gotten this far in the post, thanks for hanging in there as i try to soothe my soul. i think i’ve posted enough for one day. until next time, have as stress-free day as possible!
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3 Responses

  1. Hi Mary-Ann,
    I think you have hit the nail on the head – things change… we can’t expect to recreate the Christmases of our youth, when the magic seemed REAL. Now we know the magic is created by hard work, and some people choose not to take part in that. We can only look forward to each Christmas as a new experience, while still honouring the memory of our traditions.
    Warmest Wishes to you and your husband,
    Amanda

  2. I know exactly what you mean! We just have to make our own Christmas’s just as special in our own way and the best way we can. Making new memories to share in times to come! Wishing you the best this holiday season! Much love and hugs! Nance

  3. Christmas can be stressful! I moved far away from Nebraska 10 years ago and for many of those years I’d faithfully fly home every Christmas because I couldn’t bare to miss the family gatherings.

    Now, I’m married and with a toddler and it’s getting to be too expensive to fly back every year…not to mention that we’re trying to rotate holidays with each side of the family. This next Christmas (2007) I’m going to ask my side of the family to come to me. I’m hoping they will.

    I hope your Christmas is still special, no matter how you spend it. Good for you for making an effort to decorate and throw yourself into creating the Christmas spirit.

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