It’s true. I’ve always loved Christmas. I’m the really annoying person who is super enthusiastic as soon as it starts getting chilly. And everyone asks the question, “how can you possibly have the energy for Christmas already?”
I’ve liked Christmas since I was little. I used to ask to listen to Christmas music in the middle of summer. I’d want to put up the Christmas tree as soon as November hit, and I was always sad when we took it down. Any Christmas that wasn’t a white Christmas, I would get really upset about it.
Christmas was always a big affair when I was younger. The Christmas eve, Annie and I would get to open our first presents, which were always new pajamas that we’d wear that night. We would sit at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning and wait to be told breakfast was ready. Breakfast was always pancakes and eggs and it always tasted like magic because it was Christmas morning. And we’d eat as fast as we could because after breakfast was presents. And we’d have to wait for our dad to get the video camera and make sure we had a blank tape and wait for the red light to come on and we’d yell “Merry Christmas!” at the camera and then open stockings, and then take turns opening presents under the tree, presenting our spoils to the camera every time. (Later in life, I was responsible for transferring these from tape to DVD, and the one memory that sticks out is hearing my young self yell “POOCHIE! POOCHIE! I GOT A POOCHIE!”) And we’d spend the rest of the day playing with our new toys while our parents packed up the car, because that evening (or the day after,) we’d make the six-hour trek to Delaware to see our relatives.
Our grandparents would have a whole other Christmas. We’d eat Christmas breakfast of pancakes and eggs and scrapple and it was always good, and then we’d open our Delaware stockings that Santa came through the front door to fill because they didn’t have a chimney, and then we’d have to wait for the night to open everything else. That night, we’d have a belated Christmas dinner with my cousins and aunt and uncle and then we’d all take turns opening presents under Mommom’s beautiful tree. And each day was another Christmas. We’d see friends and family and exchange gifts and eat wonderful food and talk and laugh, and it was good.
My mom moved out of my dad’s house the summer before my senior year, and I went with her. That year was the first year I started suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as seasonal depression and SAD.) As soon as the leaves started falling, I felt really down, and like nothing was worth it. Not even Christmas. I didn’t know what was wrong with me; I hadn’t realized I was depressed, I just thought I was broken. I wasn’t excited over Christmas, so I had to be broken. Something was definitely wrong with me, and no one seemed to understand, not even my boyfriend or mom. My dog was pretty much my only real friend, it felt like. To top it off, the holidays seemed broken, too; I only saw a fraction of the people I usually did because I didn’t get to see my dad’s side of the family or friends, or even Annie. Things started looking up late spring, and I finally figured out that I’d suffered through my first round of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
And so it comes back, every year. I’ve been looking into a sun lamp, since one of the leading causes of SAD is lack of vitamin D from sunlight, but those things ain’t cheap. So I do my best to get through as best I can. As much as the season does a number on me, I get annoyingly excited annoyingly early for Christmas because it helps pull me through. I start getting pumped and counting how many sleeps til Christmas (65) before Halloween starts because it’s the best way I know how to not think about the days getting shorter and more overcast and what that’s gonna do to me. Even with my messy Christmas (which will be messier this year, with my sister in college and my mom moving back east,) Christmas is still a beacon of like, cheeriness to me.
I know it’s annoying, but please, forgive me if I seem overeager or start blogging for a holiday two months away.