It’s been an odd holiday season for the Foodie family–for whatever reason, I’ve really been finding it difficult to get into the holiday spirit. I noticed this around Halloween, when the holiday mojo just didn’t seem to kick in. Usually, I think of Halloween as the kick-off event for a season of celebrations, so it’s a happy time. But while I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, as I always do, I didn’t find myself obsessed with planning the holiday meal, as I usually am.
And now, Christmas. The Boy decorated our tree single-handedly. We unpacked the holiday decorations, but they just barely made it out of their storage crates. They’ve been sitting around in their individual boxes since then. We did put up wreaths, indoor and outdoor, but that’s about the extent of our decorating efforts.
Because depression runs in my family, I’m vigilant about its warning signs and took some time, a few days ago, to think about whether I needed to make an appointment with my doctor. But I really don’t think that’s the issue. I’m eating well, sleeping well, generally pleased with my life. I’m just not into the holidays this year. And, after giving that some thought, I came to a few realizations.
1. It really hasn’t been that long since my dad died–not even six months yet. While I’m past the point where I spend my days crying, the tears are never very far away. I imagine the effort of holding things together and being a functional person uses up more energy than I’m aware of.
2. The Hubs and I spent our Christmas budget on practical things–a new range hood for the kitchen cooktop, a Keurig coffee maker–so we’ve agreed that there will be no Christmas morning surprises for each other. Neither of us need a thing, really, and we’ll still have gifts to open from the Foodie children. Also . . .
3. We are, as The Hubs like to put it, a family in transition. Our kids are well into their teenage years; Christmas just isn’t the magical holiday it was when they were younger. So there are no big surprises for them under the tree, either, because they’ve already received their big gifts.
4. Our church has changed its schedule of Christmas Eve services, offering two instead of three. The earliest one–which we usually attend–has been combined with the mid-evening service, which puts the new service squarely in the middle of what would normally be our dinner hour. That means our tradition of eating a big holiday meal on Christmas Eve, and a holiday brunch late Christmas morning, will also need to change (unless we opt for the late evening service, of course–but that doesn’t sound appealing to any of us.) We’ve decided to have an early dinner of heavy hors d’oeuvres and follow that up with another small meal later in the evening, after church. It won’t be the Orange Meal we’ve had in years past, but we’ll still enjoy the Boy-Approved Orange Cake for dessert.
And, of course, we’ll still have our silver bowl of oranges at the center of the table, reminding us of the real meaning Christmas. It’s a day to take a moment to be grateful for all the many blessings in our lives: our health, our home, the four of us together. And it’s a day to remember the many sacrifices made for us by others, all of which allow us to enjoy the lives we take for granted.
Holiday blessings to all of you, Foodie faithful! Thank you for reading, and for making this blog one of the great joys of my life.