Lost Spirit

I am the biggest Christmas person you know. I love Christmas. Everything about it. I mean, if I haven’t talked enough about it, I’m using some of my last chances to do just that.

But rather than going into the magic of the holiday season, I’m talking about the apparent lack of it, for me and many others. Maybe it’s just my normal mindset hitting some lows, or maybe it’s a normal part of growing up and realizing the world is full of people that don’t exactly follow the Code of the Elves.

Either way, it’s hard for me to cope with. All I want is to enjoy something different, to look forward to a day that doesn’t just feel like another day. When I write it out, it might not make sense, but I swear, you’ll know if you understand. I don’t have the same urge to watch Christmas classics or listen to Christmas music even compared to last year. It’s still great, but it’s not as special. I can be forgetful about moving my advent calendar, just an involuntary movement in the daily routine. The decorated Christmas tree always makes the basement feel homier, but it’s just…there.

So how do we make it special again? CAN it be special again? Great question, one I sure have no answer to. I almost feel silly thinking about this as a bigger problem than just my own perception. I realize that is an individual choice for each of us to make as to how we view each particular day, no matter if it’s Christmas or not. In an ideal world, I would choose to truly treat every day like Christmas, but if Christmas doesn’t even feel like itself, then what gives?

I remember when I was little and I felt the spirit of Christmas right down to my very soul, a sense of pure joy and excitement. I still put on the facade that I have maintained this mentality throughout the years, but now it’s not as easy to channel it. Just the fact I have to try so hard to be jolly is discouraging. I want to embody the person who wakes up every December morning ready to bring on some Christmas cheer. It’s an unrealistic desire, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it.

As I have pondered about this particularly topic, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas spirit does not simply completely disappear, no matter how much it feels like it. Every year that feels less and less like Christmas is a time of transition toward a new perspective on the holiday season. Obviously with maturity comes experience, going through the Christmas motions a few times. Rather than seeing Christmas as shiny and new, it’s an old friend returning every year. It usually doesn’t change much if you practice yearly traditions, but it’s arrival still means something. The relationship with the friend has changed, but it’s still there.

Christmas spirit doesn’t always have to be in-your-face, loud and proud, lights and decorations and carols. The spirit becomes more subtle, more gentle. Rather than not having to worry about much, Christmas might turn into a stressful time or even lonely for some people. Change is scary, but it’s necessary. It brings about growth and wisdom. Perhaps even from accepting this change will spark a new spirit within you, just as cheerful as before.

I have come to find that Christmas is wonderful not solely for the music and movies (although they are still great), but also the comfort, the time with family, the message of the season. These parts don’t make me jump up and down and run upstairs on Christmas morning, but they bring me peace and remind me that my feelings and attitude start with a choice. I can specifically choose to either embrace these feelings, or wallow in the fact that I just don’t get super excited about things anymore, at least not in the same way as a child would.

Just because the Christmas spirit has changed does not mean I can’t still love Christmas as much as I always do.  Some of my emotional setbacks aren’t exactly in my will to control all the time, but for the times that it is, I am choosing to feel jolly and spread the good tidings that this season brings. The world needs it. Everyday life doesn’t come with the extra traditions and people, which can be a good or bad thing. I just choose to be optimistic. But it truly is up to us to embrace the holidays for what they are, right at this moment. It’s different and unfamiliar territory, but it’s a journey worth taking.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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