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Looking for the magic

I'm struggling with Christmas this year. I know I'm not alone in that. I've seen a lot of people saying the same thing. I'm getting everything done, slowly, but I feel like I'm just going through the motions. With everything I do, I'm asking myself why I'm doing it, and whether it really matters.

I sent out 36 Christmas cards this year. So far I've received two. I know the season's not over and I'm not the only one running behind. I never expect anywhere close to the number I send. But... two? I advertised my open house, but I don't know if anyone other than Amy and Craig will stop by. So I'm having trouble getting motivated on the cleaning and shopping and planning. I haven't baked any cookies at all. I'm not sure if I'm doing any of these things for others, or for myself. If no one else cares, and I'm not into it, why am I even bothering?

Christmas spirit has a way of slipping in past negativity, though. I know that one of my cards brightened someone's day. If I made a difference, no matter how small, then it's worthwhile. Amy's hairdresser asked her about the cookies. daernhelm told me tonight that he's trying to figure out if he can manage to visit for a little while on Christmas. I know it's not really practical and it isn't likely to happen. I won't be disappointed. It's enough that he's thinking about it. That makes my whole Christmas, right there. All these little things add up to bring me the magic.

I still believe in the magic of Christmas. When I come downstairs on Christmas morning, I'm holding my breath to see if Santa filled my stocking. I believe I'm going to get kissed under the mistletoe. I hope someone unexpected will stop by to see me. It doesn't matter that I haven't hung a stocking or so much as seen mistletoe in close to ten years. The hope and anticipation doesn't go away. And every year, there's something special and surprising and beautiful at Christmastime.

So, this year, even if I'm struggling, I'm sticking with it. The magic's still there. I just have to hang in there and let it happen.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
I haven't gotten to thank you for your card yet. Thank you. Mine remain unwritten. The surprise job really wrecked my planning. I'm hoping for Wednesday. We'll see.

The penguin is adorable, and fitting. :)
Dec. 21st, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Your package is the big excitement in this house. I don't have anything wrapped and under the tree yet (may not until Christmas Eve) so it is all alone under the tree and if Noah just had x-ray vision, he'd be all set given how much time he spent trying to stare through it last night.

Cards are just too overwhelming for me - I feel like I have to write notes on all of them, and with all the student thank you notes I need to write, I just can't do it. I should pick a calmer time of year and send out Happy August cards or something.

For me, I think sometimes I do things because it is the repetition that makes it in to magic. Even in years when I really don't feel like it, I go through the same motions, and there's some magic in ritual, I think. I hope in some easier year it will be meaningful to me that I hung the stockings and baked the cookies even in hard years.

Merry Christmas. :)
Dec. 21st, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)
*grin* I'm really hoping it's as big a hit after it's unwrapped. Browsing the toy store to shop for small boys is a delight, and Noah's old enough now for some of the interesting stuff. His is one of the two gifts I'm giving this year that have the potential to be The Perfect Gift. (The other is for my mom, thanks to ThinkGeek.)
Dec. 21st, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
My Christmas card might not make it to you until New Year's but it will come. Thanks for the Penguin.
Dec. 21st, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
I've got your card as well and it seems I've been too busy this year to even attempt cards this year, classes, work, and all. While I would take you up on the open house thing, Christmas is the travel convoy for us going from Long Island this year to Vermont and then back home. Hopefully you'll get some visitors that stop by.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )