Christmas sensory overdrive has already begun. Bright flashing lights and Christmas carols and holiday songs on repeat. Once upon a time, in what seems like a lifetime ago, I loved all things Christmassy. I was married then and I think my ex-husband dreaded the manic Christmas decorating and shopping spree that would inevitably occur. My decorations were chosen by colour each year; a gold and blue Christmas, a red and silver Christmas; and the one part of me that is extremely girly loves fairy lights. I did not believe there could ever be enough fairy lights. I wanted everything to reflect the flashing lights, creating a colour wonderland. I had to have a real tree, a fake one would never do. I wanted the smell of Christmas, not just the look. Everyone got presents, EVERYONE. street kids, poor folk, children’s homes, family, friends, dogs, cats.
So where did it all go wrong?
Now as I walk through malls I want to attack little singing Santa’s with my stiletto heels and hear the last breathe of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” whine out of it as death steals that little Santa’s annoying melody. The thought of having to spend precious money on presents no one really wants literally makes me nauseas. Christmas carols and holiday songs make me partly homicidal and partly suicidal. I sometimes want to scream and take out mass amounts of happy shoppers with a semi automatic and the another part of me wants to sink to the floor in utter despair and slit my wrists with the nearest available object.
Why does Christmas bring out the worst in me? Even as I write this I am racked with intense grief, and I’m crying. I grieve for the girl that loved Christmas. Where is that hopeful happy Christmassy me? Now this time of year merely represents the only time of year where I don’t have to go into work or study. It’s the time of the year where our commune is empty sans me. I get my complete alone time, I look forward to this part.
The problem is that it reminds me of everyone that is gone. By death or by distance it reminds me of how far away we have all drifted from each other. Physical distance; with my brother overseas and my closest friends now distributed across the globe and the country. Emotional distance; people who were once pivotal, now faded memories and relegated to “acquaintance”. Social networking is often seen as a way of bridging these distances, however, for me, the distance between us all is highlighted by this vast super information highway that separates us. This is the only time of year, where I wonder if my single, childless status is really what I want? One day of the year, just this one, makes me wonder. Last Christmas I wasn’t single and I really got into the Christmas spirit and bought presents, decorations and got to have Christmas morning with my parents and the afternoon with my ex’s family. It was shaping up to be a good Christmas despite me having had a bike accident and huge fight with the ex. We had decided to stay together and enjoy life. I was Christmas Christie again, until he broke up with me on Christmas day.
Now I find myself back in my grinchy place, dreading the thought that Christmas this year will again be an empty, soulless holiday filled with me sitting in a room watching series and eating mass loads of sugar, on my own. Is this what I am choosing? I know that I can make arrangements to spend time with friends, but then I worry I am imposing on their “family time”. I want to go all out and get a tree and fairy lights, but if I am stuck in a room alone watching those blinking lights remind me that I am not surrounded by family and friends I will probably end up using the damn tree as firewood.
I know I am not the only one that feels this way, and I worry that even if I was surrounded by people on Christmas, would I still feel alone? Would I still feel disconnected? Is that perhaps the crux of the matter? Feeling disconnected? I can Bbm, text, whatsapp, facebook message, blog, but have we lost our human connection? Is that what this is all really about? Have I “disconnected”? Which raises the next questions; do I want to change that? How do I change that? Well I suppose I could socialise more, gather people around me. Problem is I really don’t like people; and the people I do like, don’t like people. Perhaps I need to accept that one day of the year highlights the fact that for the rest of the year, I am someone who enjoys my own company and the company of a select worthy few, and for those days of the year I am very happy. Perhaps, this year, I will put up fairy lights.