The last time my family and I celebrated Christmas was back in 2006, my second December after high school. This year I didn’t expect to celebrate Christmas at all actually. In fact, most years I would sneer at Christmas movies and snark at all the junk that happens around this time of year. Not that I was bitter, but in reality, I couldn’t stand the idea that this one time of year everyone SUDDENLY got really nice and generous.
Well, this year something changed. First it changed with my family in terms of birthdays. For the lack of a better way to say this, we were too broke to do all that much for birthdays. This year none of us had the money for gifts. In prior years, though, even when we did have money, we felt miserable about the day. We were usually the most miserable on our own birthday. That huge expectation to be happy on our birthday collides into the fact that we’ve been through a lot and it’s hard to meet that expectation of happy.
This year since we were too broke to expect much, we were pleased with the modest celebration we did have. Cards, a nice homemade dinner, and a sweet treat. It was probably the nicest feeling birthday year that I’ve experienced in a very long time.
As Christmas drew closer, I knew we did want to get a tree (our most festive urge in a while) but the whole purchasing of that tree was a problem. By some sheer luck I found a small little giveaway online to win a tree. I entered, put it out of my mind, and didn’t think much else of the holiday. Really, I’m not Tiny Tim here and none of us feel sorry for ourselves. We didn’t celebrate Christmas before for many personal and shared reasons, and I don’t think any of us expected this year to be any different.
And guess what? I won. The tree came last week and it’s now nearly decorated (we unraveled Christmas lights that’s been in a box for about 8 years).
I would say that somehow my inner Grinch is gone, and the bitterness that may have stewed in the past isn’t there at all. I still don’t enjoy most Christmas movies and we really can’t afford much for this year either. But somehow, I’m happy about the upcoming holiday. Like we experienced with birthdays, I am pleased with and enjoy the modest amount we do have.
In some weird way, my family has gotten back holidays on the most financially struggling period of time we’ve had in a very long time. If there was anything gained from this period of time, I think getting back holidays was a huge win.
As for 2015, I want to personalize my blog more. Along the way this year, I got focused on building traffic, pumping up social media, and reaching others in a way that felt more like marketing than true sharing. I started this blog as a way to share my thoughts on unemployment, on working, and other life experiences. I want to go back to that. So I may be less on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. I’ll just be here more.