Christmas came and went. It was good, I promise. Ada was thrilled. I cooked Christmas dinner and it went wonderfully. Everything was good. And I should feel good, too, right? I feel differently though. I feel both empty and too full.

Holidays are superficially full. I am full of all the stuff–presents, food, merriment. But underneath, I just don’t understand what it means. I get why we have holidays. It is practical. We can schedule time off work, make travel plans. But it feels like an obligation. All this stuff I got my daughter thinking it would bring me joy, when she opened it, is just stuff. The food is gone. The day is gone.

And I’m left feeling empty and dissatisfied. The moment–the good feeling that I anticipate–came without leaving an impression. I felt more moved by the music I listened to while cooking. (Crying while cutting onions only to find it is the song and not the onions.)

I feel like I can’t talk about it. First because it’s so vague. It’s just a tightness in my chest and a mild sadness. A longing for something deeper. Second, there is this desire to be happy especially at the holidays unless you have good reason. I don’t I guess. So I feel lousy about it. I’m letting people down. It’s tiring. It makes it worse. It’s why I’m writing I guess. Hoping it will go away if I voice it.

And it’s worse today. It’s back to the grind already like yesterday meant nothing. And it did. It meant nothing in itself. In a larger context it means something–another year–but there’s little magic in the passage of time.

Maybe it’s the winter–the cold and dark. Maybe I’m lonely. Maybe I’m homesick.

Christmas is over now though. So as it passes away maybe this feeling will ease up. Staying vigilant just in case.


6 thoughts on “UnMerry

  1. I think I always feel a let down after Christmas. I wonder if all that we rush around to do brings any joy or praise to Jesus. Is it empty or just going through the motions. What if we took out presents and just had a day to enjoy family and God. Just wondering or are we doing all this stuff just for us.

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  2. Most of us feel a little let down after Christmas. There’s sadness some of our loved ones are no longer with us. Sometimes there’s disappointment because we hoped for something we didn’t get. Sometimes the adrenaline lets down and we are worn out from all the anticipation and activities. The greatest gift of all is love. Love is what I focus on when the blues get me down.

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  3. I feel similar. Usually by Christmas afternoon, after the gifts are open and it comes time to recycle all the paper and packaging, I feel almost let down. Like, all the excitement and planning is done and my Christmas spirit leaks out like a balloon with a small hole in it. Thank you for putting into words a feeling I have had a hard time recognizing. I love you!

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  4. I think most people feel this to a greater or lesser extent. The commercial hype builds anticipation to an impossible height that is seldom fulfilled, but it is very hard to avoid in our culture. Just know it’s coming and it too will pass and spring will be here one of these days. I have found that helping others helps this feeling dissipate. Avoid the seasonal jobs and keep things as simple as possible. Hugs!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this as I can very much relate. I’ve grown weary of holidays as well. The commercialsm of it does suck, but in my case it’s also all of the hulabaloo. I’m an introvert so being around people for long periods of time can get irritating. I love them n’ all but when I’ve had enough, I long for my favourite pj’s and solitude. Holidays seem to emphasize the need for sticking around longet than I want to though. And I’m left wondering if I don’t stay, am I being needlessly selfish? (Unfortunately in my past I’ve also been told that I am. I try not to believe it but sometimes it’s harder than others.) Holidays also seem to fuel the need for judgement of one’s yearly merits against another’s.

    As for longing for something deeper, I’ve been feeling the same way for the past 18 years. As a kid it was great to get presents and visit family I haven’t seen. Even looking up at a giant tree decorated with glowing lights was awesome. But whatever magic that was there is long gone. I used to be Catholic so part of me is wondering if it was the long anticipation of advent and if your good you get presents. And the magic after Christmas was the ability to play with the stuff that you really wanted. (In my case I wanted a sand art kit and I wasn’t allowed to open it with my cousins around lest we make a giant mess.) I’m not sure if the magic was because if the religious aspect or that my family lived far away so we always had to travel.

    But ya, I just wanted to let you know that I get it. If you figure out what the magic is, please let me know.

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