Anticipation And The Past – OR – Here We Go Again, Another Holiday Post.

I’m just not feeling it yet. You know the cookie-baking-ho-ho-merry-merry-gift-wrapping-“Swing-by my-house-tomorrow”-extravaganza that we are about to take part in the next 4 weeks.

This has happened to me many times before.I know what to expect.  Years upon years of retail and food have worn me down to mere stubble in the beard of all you Santa reincarnates. I’m not a Scrooge. I adore the intimate moments  that I share with family and friends during the holidays. A quick cup of coffee or cocktail, and a moment to catch up is precious. I love the lights. The dark solitude that surrounds twinkling bulbs of many colors, or better yet, no color at all hanging against a charcoal evening sky . White light, pure and simple. This sight creates a feeling of peace that is so complete it’s hard to explain to anyone that’s not inside my head.

I do love the holidays. Sometimes I just don’t understand them.

You see, Christmas is a holiday of yesterday and I was taught at an early age that yesterday is the past – move on. Lately I have tried to look back at my past more, but usually when I do it seems  a little melodramatic or self-indulgent. I haven’t decided which yet. People look back to what they perceive are the better times. The times when their children were young, or when they were young. That moment when they unwrapped the perfect sled that sent them flying 1000 mph down the hill that was like a mountain.

The time when your child’s expression was so full of innocent joy that you tried to capture it on film, but it was a blur when you picked up the photos at the drug store.

The silent thought that runs through your head, the one that reminds you that you will never see that look on their face again.

But Christmas is also a holiday of tomorrow. We’ll meet tomorrow  We will eat, shop, laugh, sleep, work, and play tomorrow. The anticipation of tomorrow is seductive,  as anticipation always is. It’s one of the juiciest of emotions; so full of passion.  Unfortunately, we usually romanticize our anticipation. We visualize logs on the fire, sleeping children  bulky sweaters, and just the right music on the radio.

You know like this


On an everyday basis, our tomorrows are usually full of anticipation, even if it’s dread. Dread is the dark side of anticipation, but that’s for another time.

I do not dread Christmas.

So, I reminisce and prognosticate the last month of the year away with family and friends. I plan, decorate, schedule and give, and when it’s over I am sad. I’ve met my obligations,  and not let anyone down, but I am amazed at how quickly it’s gone by.

Anticipation and reminiscing  are both easily colored by our minds and expectations. As I get to the end of this entry, I realize that maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps 1/12 out of the year I should celebrate this phenomenon of the holidays with gusto, let my past feel like a Christmas special from 1967.

Let’s see if I can.

Oh there I go again, lil’ Ms. Self-Indulgent.

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