The holiday season is frequently fraught with emotions, both good and bad. Yet it seems that most people look forward to the New Year with great anticipation – it is a time of new beginnings, a chance to put the past behind us and begin again. I am the exception; the New Year always leaves me feeling sad and blue. This year I decided to figure out why I feel this way. The best way for me to work through something is to write it out; hence this post.
Part of the problem is simple. I usually take several days off work around Christmas and New Year’s and January 2nd marks the return to the usual work-a-day grind. However, day job aside, I’m beginning to think that most of the sadness revolves around the fact that I am a giver. As such, I am in my element during the holidays.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear – under normal circumstances I hate to shop. Shopping for myself is just shy of torture and is guaranteed to make me extremely grumpy. However, give me the opportunity to shop for others and I am all over it! I spend months listening to my family members to get ideas for gifts that they might like. But not just any gifts, items that they might want rather than need – things that they might not buy for themselves. I learned long ago to set a dollar limit for each person on my list; I do still need to be able to pay my bills after all! This is one of the reasons that I would love to win the lottery; I would be able to give more to others – both individuals and charitable organizations. Of course that won’t ever happen; I would have to play the lottery in order to actually win it!
I love buying gifts and wrapping them (yes, I actually enjoy wrapping presents), all the while anticipating the recipient’s reaction. This is how I show love – a little bit of my heart is tied up in each gift that I give. I love the chaos of Christmas day as everyone is tearing into presents; I love hearing – and seeing – their reactions to the items that I have selected. This year I overheard my sons’ significant others say that Christmas at our house is “way cooler than Christmas at home.” That meant the world to me and I will hold it close to my heart forever.
In addition to presents, my hubby and I prepare Christmas stockings for the rest of the family. I love finding little items to put in them – items geared toward the tastes and personality of each individual. These items are frequently nerdy in nature – the nerd gene runs strong in my family. (My youngest son’s new girlfriend comes from a sports background – I think she is still a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of nerdiness that surrounds her when our family gets together.) As an example, my husband received Star Trek boxer shorts in his stocking this year. He says that he is a little leery of wearing the red ones, lol!
The emotional high from Christmas stays with me for a few days, but the closer to New Year’s, the sadder I become; the gift-giving is over and I’ve got to wait a year before it happens again. However, now that I’ve realized what the problem is I’m going to try to change my attitude. Instead of seeing a barren wasteland between now and next Christmas, I’m going to start listening and making lists now instead of later in the year – as a matter of fact, I’ve already started!
How do the holidays affect you? Do you look forward to the New Year? Let me know in the comments!