It's November 9th and I just bought a holiday tree. I haven't put a tree up in two years and the one I put up in 2009 wasn't my idea. I just haven't been interested in a long time.
I don't care for the holiday's. I don't hate them by any means, but I don't like them. I don't like them because for a few years I got to witness firsthand just how little the holidays really mean to many people, not all but many. So for a few years now I have acted somewhat allergic to the holiday season as it comes across to me as an excuse to be excessive where families even compete to see who spends the most cash on each other.
In my childhood (mostly preteen and teen years), the holidays did not exist as they do for most people. I can still remember the first year I realized holidays would never be exciting again. It was 1992, I had just turned 12 and I was in 6th grade, I remember waking up Christmas morning to nothing. I mean nothing. My mothers verbally abusive boyfriend who for a change was being a decent human being was home. My mother, who was bar-tending at the time, had a habit of going on week long work/drinking binges. She didn't come home for days. I was often home alone and I never really knew when her or her boyfriend would be around. Three comfort "foods" of mine are Jell-O, Kool Aide and frozen peas. This is because during that time these items were usually available and since no one was home and I didn't cook this was what I ate. It was during the summer of 1992 that my eating issues began both because of food being unavailable and being constantly told I was fat by the boyfriend. Never in my life have I ever weighed over 130 lbs. I was my full height at 12 and I was by no means fat. Anyway, that year my mother decided to not come home for Christmas. She had gone to work and slept "at the bar." The boyfriend was actually pleading with her to come home. I remember talking to her on the phone late in the morning and it was clear she was still very much drunk. The excitement of the holidays ended right there. We certainly still "celebrated" but they we never the same. I mean each year is never the same as the last but they change as people grow and I just detached.
Too much? Well at least I got it out now and not on 12/24.
I get the double whammy of being a December baby and since as far back as I can remember it's been impossible for me to ever have a real birthday gathering. People don't have the time, they don't want to buy a gift, company holiday parties are more enticing (bonus checks, I can't blame them), among other reasons. The thing is I don't want or ever ask for anything more then company. That's it. I just don't like being alone on certain days of the year. Last year, I started my new tradition of going to the Big Apple Circus on my birthday. I have been heading to NYC for a few years now, so that has already been a part of the plan. I figure if I am destined always get frustrated trying to have company I might as well just make my own plans and it worked out very well last year.
To me the holiday season is about being with people. It's not gifts. I
do accept them graciously, but it's not the whole package.
Speaking of gifts, I just want to mention how much I dislike that I am obligated to purchase gifts for certain people at work. Why? Because even though I am very clear that I do not celebrate their holiday they insist and make it their goal to persuade me (which makes me like the holiday less).
I also cling to more Pagan concepts these days (no not the motorcycle gang). I enjoy the concept of the celebrations of the seasons and nature. I connect more with the concept of Yule. Way back before science figured out why we have less sunlight in the winter, our ancestors thought the sun was dying as days became shorter and nights became longer. Yule begins on the solstice and lasts until the 23rd of December as a celebration of the suns rebirth. It translates different ways depending on who you are talking to and what variation of paganism, but this is how it translated for me in a more nature and less divine way. Yule and other Pagan holidays have helped me morph into a more social holiday person. My favorite being when I was upstate with family for "Easter" but I wasn't there to celebrate and Easter morning we got into a discussion about Ostara. The gobsmacked look on my dads face was priceless. I am definitely my dads child, no matter how many years we were apart.
I have been scared of putting a tree up for the last few years. I am scared it will wind up being a source of depression. However, since redefining how I fit into the holiday season and being much more cheerful last year I thought celebrating in my own way might not be so bad.
This is HUGE for me. Absolutely HUGE. I can't tell you how badly I did not want a tree in 2009 and how happy I was to not have one the last two years. This year my tree is a Yule tree because that's up to me. I also have a Pinkie Pie ornament I picked up today on it. Nothing else. It's all in storage and I have yet to be given notification that the storage facility is open as they lost power in the hurricane. However, the Yule tree is out of the box, standing up and all the branches are spread out. This tree is ready for ornamentation!
Yes I know. Crazy early to put a tree up, but it was on sale and I didn't want to leave it in a sad box in the corner.