Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Christmas Spirit

"Spirit" really does have a few meanings, doesn't it? There's spirit as in Christmas spirit meaning a feeling or demeanor.

There the liquor kind of spirits which I hear some people enjoy.

And, of course, there are the best kind of spirits, those imprints of departed souls left to walk the earth for all eternity.
As for me, I am not generally possessed of much Christmas spirit. I remember liking Christmas as a kid, but it was still the holiday of car sickness and familial tension. As an adult, it has evolved into the holiday of carsickness, scheduling impossibilities, and tight budgets. 

Now, that's not to say that I don't appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. I love celebrating the nativity story and my favorite childhood Christmas memories are the Christmas Eve services at church where the candle light gets passed throughout the packed sanctuary. Remember that part? Pure good.

What I don't remember is last Christmas. At all. I was so sick with a busted gall bladder that I've spent the past year finding things and saying, "What is this? I need one of these," and then Doss will say, "You got that for Christmas last year" and then I get all excited. But my kids had to spend last Christmas with a mother who couldn't do much and who went to the Emergency Room (again) on Christmas Eve. I owe them a good holiday this year.

But that elusive Christmas spirit. I just don't have it. 

Maybe if we lived in Austria, I could get more into the whole Christmas celebration. I mean, what's not to like about St. Nicholas coming to the door bearing gifts for the good little children... and his trusty sidekick, the Krampus? 

I can totally get behind a giant, hairy, horned devil-beast roaming the town with rusty chains and seeking the naughty children that he will beat with his birch branches. 

Remember when Santa used to only bring gifts to the good boys and girls? Kids used to behave because they knew, if they didn't, it was coal and switches. Now, looking at Christmas from the other side, as an adult, I don't see a lot of those contingencies in play anymore. Every kid gets what they ask for because we don't want to hurt their feelings. Then they might actually be accountable for their actions... we can't have that! "Oh, I know he's been kicked out of school and is failing all of his classes because he refuses to do any of his schoolwork, but he took out the trash once last month so he deserves an iphone."

Bah, humbug.

I'll keep searching for that elusive Christmas Spirit. It helps that the girl got up at 3am, throwing up. That made it feel more like Christmas.
Obviously, she's much better now.

Maybe I'll bake something Christmassy (not like the strawberry muffins I baked this morning in the ghost/jack o'lantern pan).

And if you see a Krampus, PLEASE send him my way?

Only 313 more days until Halloween.

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