Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Blues

The Christmas season is so polarizing. It is shaped with anxious awaiting, exciting moments and rich tradition, all leading up to that series of smiles, giving and receiving in the morning. But there is another side, a bluer side that follows it. At least for me. This year it came quicker than expected since I had to leave my hometown Christmas night in order to be back in Provo in time for work the next day. Usually I milk Christmas as long as I can. We keep the lights up through January, and keep the tree up longer than we probably should. I still let Christmas music play, and I eat candy well into the new year. But the Christmas blues hit me this year as the present opening ended and a lull fell over our house. Everyone was exhausted and after a hardy and slightly burned breakfast it was nap time for most of us. I was so thankful to be home and around those I loved, but truly bummed that my holiday was going to be defined by brevity. I was also sad because my sister and new niece hadn't joined us this year. We were staying in my grandma's house just across town even though my grandma was celebrating with my cousins in Washington. The house was bigger and more conducive for gathering. But it was a constant reminder to me of my late grandfather. In a house full of windows, I couldn't help but look out them and see the past. I saw myself running around the alfalfa fields with my sisters and cousins. I saw my grandpa teaching us how to move sprinklers and drive four-wheelers. We were never as close as I had hoped. He was surly and prone to grumpiness, and I was rambunctious and wore baggy pants. But he loved me and I loved him. His sudden departure from this world reminded me how much we loved each other in spite of our differences. But Christmas also reminded me of him; it reminded me of him singing in front of our whole family sweet classics and Swedish lullabies. His hugs and cowboy jeans were on the tip of my mind. It is terribly upsetting how obtuse we can be about love and family until a death awakens that underused love within us.

But I am not complaining. I am blessed to have a job, a family and more gifts than I deserve. I just couldn't help but feel a melancholy around me as the joy of Christmas sort of faded. I suppose part of life is realizing the best way to cope with things. I was clearly saddened by what felt like a rushed Christmas without a couple people that meant the world to me. But 24 hours removed, I can see that it was such a wonderful Christmas, and though I say it every year, the best Christmas ever. Melancholy is okay. Emotional is fine. Sure I missed my sister, and my Grandpa, but that is just a reminder of how blessed I am to have them in my life. I sit alone in my house since most of my friends are still out of town. But that is just another testimony of my blessed life, the fact that I have such important friends to miss. 

With the New Year coming in I have no more time to be sad. I only have a few days to finish out 2014 how I would like to. I have unrealized goals and unfinished dreams, and it is the 11th hour. And with the ushering in of 2015 I can forget my brief encounter with the blues and focus on the felicity of life and the greatness that the new year can bring. After all I have the new Taylor Swift CD, so life cannot be that bad.