Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What's wrong with me?

"If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips would be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."

-Ebenezer Scrooge, in "A Christmas Carol"

Welcome, everyone! It's time for a round of "What's Wrong With Angie?" An exciting blog game how where I describe my neuroses, and YOU get to try to figure out why I'm like this! YAY! (Disclaimer: The prizes are four size U vacuum bags. I bought a pack right before my vacuum died, and I replaced it with a bagless.)

I... I really don't like Christmas. I'm sorry. Bah humbug. I know you're supposed to see all the happiness, and constant depictions of good will and charity, and ideal living and loving, and feel all fuzzy inside. I just feel inadequate and lonely and sad.

This entry just might have too much truth in it.

I do try, though. I started buying Christmas Presents at the beach in August. (This is not as OCD as it sounds. I see my best good friends at least twice a year- at the beach and for the holidays. A lot of time at "the beach" is actually spent shopping in the outlet stores and cute boutiques, so when my friends admire something, I usually go back and buy it for them.)

Most other holiday presents I make myself. I started making them in September. All but one is finished. All but two are wrapped. My apartment is tastefully decorated. My tree is up and lit. My dog is festively outfitted in the red and white collar Kelly gave her three years ago.

In the last two weeks, I have mailed nearly 80 greeting cards to my high school friends; college friends; former teachers and professors; relatives; boyfriend's family and lifelong friends; professional mentors and networking contacts; former picture story families: paganism, bling family [actually, I meant to write "blind family" but "bling family" is too funny to change], lesbian moms; and former host families from foreign countries. I mailed the international cards so that they will arrive before the actual holiday that the person celebrates in the country where they were sent.

I tracked down and caught up with all of my high school friends (Except Melissa. Hellllooooooo? Are you out there?) I am relatively up-to-date with the happenings in my college roommates' lives. I am all connected and not phone-tagging any of the special six people I talk to weekly/daily.

I paid off all my charge cards. I lost twenty pounds and two sizes in the past year. I got two raises and survived a second round of lay-offs. I am extremely happy with Stephen. We're connected and functioning well as a couple. I remembered three important birthdays and my ex-boyfriend's wedding anniversary with presents and/or cards that arrived on time. I am on track planning/helping the two people for whom I am maid of honor in 2005.

But here's the thing: It will never be enough. It will never feel like enough.

I'm sad to say that telling me: "Well, you just need to relax. Don't do all that stuff for the wrong reasons and just enjoy the holiday!" is NOT a vacuum bag prize winning response.

I'm doing all these things because I WANT to, because I love the people I reach out to, because I love the responses in the cards and letters that come back to me, because I love being connected to people in all the places that I have lived, because I love that people treasure the presents I make for them, because I feel cozy in my candlelit living room, because my dog wearing the fuzzy collar is too damn funny, because I love seeing someone light up when they open something they admired in my presence five months ago.

I feel so loved in my life. I really do. That's what Christmas is all about, right?

So why does a Pier One pamphlet telling me, 'It's the holidays! Be amazing!" hurt so much? Why does the all-green Target commercial with the happy Spanish-speaking family make me feel so sad? Why does "the Christmas spirit" seem so elusive? Why isn't everything I do Christmas-y enough? Why is my dog farting like a trombone?(Don't answer that last one.)

Please do try to answer the others, though. (Win vacuum bags!)

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