The holidays are hard. This is a guilt-filled time of year for me. Why can't it just be pleasant, joyous and anticipatory? I am one fun gal any other time of the year. But depression and anxiety seem to really kick in during the holidays. Or as I like to say, the holidaze. I am guilty over past years and the abundant gifts we have received which have never gotten used, eaten or seen, in shelves and freezers and under the bed, tucked away to hide our lazy endeavors and dulled good intentions because we are really lousy at finishing.
I am tired of guilt over things not done. It's only December 7 but I'm feeling guilty for not having the Christmas Cards started. I love cards but it's been a crazy few years and this year I was really going to make an effort. I purchased photo cards in October. I can reach out and touch them from where I sit but that is it. No pictures taken. Not giving up though.
I can see my backyard neighbor's Christmas tree lighting up their back deck, merrily, merrily. Our lights are still in the attic depending on whether or not the squirrels have been active this year. However, I am sitting in my office with a string of colored lights running around the top of the walls. All is not total humbug.
Is there relaxation? Real enjoyment? As if everything were done then my holiday could be perfect. What is perfection? Happiness for more than a couple of hours tearing into wrapping paper. Racing for meaning. Searching for depth. Peace this year? Sometimes it is easier to draw in and away, leaving fear outside the door, unknown.
I really want Pecan Sandies baking in the oven, Santa's Whiskers cooling on the rack. I have a box, somewhere, packed full of pretty little boxes and tins for delivering homemade goodies to the special people in my life. Brand new. Just waiting for a party, festive woodland place cards holding their breath to be placed in front of Elegance in Blue, Nouveau and Allure. Dinner for eight. Of course, two can be a party but the more the merrier.
But all hasn't been lost. I can remember the times it all came together. Before tired hands and a weary mind. Is it out there still? Where is the drive and motivation? Where is the girl I once knew?
Hopes. Dreams. Ideas. Does youth hold the cards and my game is past?
Friends of mine are just sitting around with their feet up, admiring their wrapped gifts and dewy trees.
What if I went down my block and rang the doorbell and neighbors answered the door? Would it be all homey and cozy? Would I get a true glimpse of what Christmas means to them? Can't go by looks alone. Afterall. The UPS man could ring my door, take a peek in and decide we don't celebrate. No evidence of anticipation.
Sometimes anticipation can be read on one's face. Fear and anxiety. Hope and excitement. We can't judge with just a glimpse. We are good at wearing the face of I'm Good and I Dare You to See Differently. Hide the fear.
Shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Suddenly, the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were sore afraid. Terrified. Mouths hanging open. In the middle of the dark, bright as day. These men kill wild animals preying on their flock. They are not given to fear. Holy terror. Just a glimpse of God's glory.
The faces of Mary and Joseph. Fear, anxiety, hope and excitement. Opening their hearts to possibility. The shadows of fear and anxiety flattened by omnipotent glory lying in their arms.
Waking up to another day of things undone. The door is shut, locked, alarmed. Nothing bad can get in. Controlled fear. Open the door! Mid-December sunshine floods the foyer so bright it hurts my eyes.
The Angel of The Lord says
"Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy!!!!
For unto you is born this day, in the city of David
a savior who is Christ the Lord."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace and goodwill to all."
Open the door.