I am sure my children will attest that when it comes to Christmas I have always been a bit of a Scrooge. But, unlike the character from a Christmas Carol my "Scrooginess" didn't come from a lack of generosity or hardness of heart. My "Scrooginess" grew out of my being a part of an ancient Christian tradition that views Advent as a solemn season, a penitential season much akin to Lent. This means that by the time I am ready to begin celebrating the The Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas is all but over for most folks. And, by New Year's Day I am pretty much on my own. Bah Humbug!
Over the last decade it has gotten worse. Not only am I totally out of step with American Civil Religion but I suffer from a total inability to deal gracefully with all the disruptions I find erupting all around me. The unexpected and out of place run rampant this time of year and navigating my way through all this is most wearisome. The Christmas Season has become a complete and utter assault on my sense of being in the world. The orderly life pattern I need to comfortably function is no match for the suddenly appearing flashing lights, impromptu treats, and parties. Thankfully, I am not so fragile as I once was. The tethers that hold my awareness to my surroundings have become stronger as the years of living into my "new normal" have come and gone.
Usually by the time Christmas comes I am worn out . . . spent. And, the beginning of the Christmas hoopla creeps earlier each year. It seems to begin as soon as Halloween is over. Ouch.
Here it is not even the middle of December and I am so ready for Christmas to be over: For the "pretty, pretty lights" to cease to glow; for the bell ringers to become clapper-less; and for "Santa Baby" to fall into a very long silent night.
And, now it goes and snows . . . snows too much for me to be able to ride my Symba, but not enough for me to enjoy my snowshoes. Oh bother.
So, please forgive me if I am grumpy and short fused. I am not trying to be a Grinch and steal anywho's Christmas. No, I am just doing the best I can to survive all the Good Cheer around me.
My tradition tells me Advent is a time for waiting. I must say I have that down cold. I am truly waiting . . . waiting for the ghost of one more Christmas past to be born.