I feel about New Year’s the same way I’ve always felt about prom. Really, about most every night that’s designated to be ‘the best night ever.’ Call me a cynic, but I think it’s a set up. There’s so much hype, I find it hard to live up to. Which gets me aggravated, ties my undergarments into knots. You?
And this year, for the first time, I feel that way about Christmas.
If you were to believe the culture of the Santa-fied holiday in this country and beyond, you would think that everyone woke up this morning surrounded by friends and family, glowing Christmas trees towering over red, green and gold packages and huge feasts of eggs, souffles, muffins, pancakes and mimosas. And, it does happen, of course. But not always.
For instance, this year in particular, I can’t tell you how many friends have talked about the spending freeze they’re on because of insufficient funds – making Christmas less than usual. And, then, there are people that are simply alone. For some reason or another, they aren’t surrounded by family, maybe not even by friends, or they are surrounded by people – but not the right ones, not today…or any day. But this is one of those days that the fact is screamed in our faces.
If this is you and you’re caught up in the fact that this day is supposed to be the grandest, love-filled day – and it’s killing you – then, do one thing for me. Find a calendar. If it shouts that today is Christmas, then black those words out with a Sharpie – the smelly kind that might give you a little buzz to boot. Now, look at what else that calendar says about today. Shocker, it says, ‘Friday’. Yes, it’s just another Friday in paradise. So celebrate that the weekend is coming, take a bath, go to the movies, eat good food, plan enticing things to do tomorrow, do nothing but relax, call a friend that isn’t doing anything either and say mean things about Santa and how he really should be ashamed of himself for being this overweight for so long.
In protest to this Day (see picture above), I couldn’t help but sneak away from Christmas, to this place that I have loved spending my time for the last two years (that would be this blog) – and tell you all (dear readers, fabulous commenters, those of you that don’t respond publicly but send me the most wonderful personal email responses to my posts and the folks who just show up as anonymous numbers in my stats as visitors and subscribers) – that you mean so much to me. When you’re loud, when you’re quiet, when you swell, when you disagree with me, when you tell me that what I’ve written has helped make your day or your writing or your life just a smidge better.
Whether today is happy for you or sad, just fine or lonelier than you ever imagined you’d be; whether you’re alone or with tons of people, filled with love or totally empty – I’m sending you some good vibes. I’m wishing you the very best. And I’m setting a new expectation for this Day of days for us writers: write down everything that’s good, no matter how small, and read it over and over. Stare at it. Believe it. And like a magic carpet (aka, computer screen or scrap of notebook paper), let it carry you steadily through this Day.
We, you and I, are blessed with the ability to write, with the power of words. Use this undeniable fact today. Write the best story you can. And then follow it. You know how to do this – you’ve done it before so many times with countless books. Get totally absorbed by your good story, lose yourself in it and watch it become real. The invitation is there – in your own delicious words.
Image credit: DanCentury
Join the discussion 8 Comments
Your post made me laugh, Julie. I look forward to this time of year, but not because of presents under the tree, the carb fest or drunken revelry. I look forward to a break from the usual rush, rush, rush when I can take a step back and figure out what worked and didn’t work for me this year, what I’d like to do less of and what I’d like to do more of. Taking stock and reorganizing. Like a salmon struggling upstream to spawn, this time of year more than any other, I am driven by some deep inner impulse to tie up loose ends, reorganize and retrench. I look forward to starting the new year with a clean slate, and a new sense of purpose, completely organized.
And, honestly, I’m not sorry to see 2009 in the rear view mirror.
Thanks for the good vibes, Julie. I’m thrilled I got to know you this year (Thank you, Twitter!) May happiness, prosperity and good fortune be your constant companions in 2010.
I’m also thankful that Twitter brought me here earlier this year. It’s been a delight to get to know you here at Writing Roads.
and like you, I get all twitchy about any Big Day full of unreasonable expectations. The older I get, the more I am all about aiming low.
Peace and blessings to you as the year draws to a close.
Thank you, ladies…back ‘atcha…
I’m so with you about New Year’s Eve – the biggest waste of a night. All I think about are all the drunks on the road. That, coupled with my aversion to paying way too much for horrible champange, has kept me at home for most New Year’s celebrations.
Bring on the Spring cleaning and tulips!
I’m definitely with you about the New Year’s thing. Any year that I’ve built it up in my head is the year that it really, really tanks. Christmas too, for that matter. This year, my husband and I couldn’t be with our parents. Neither could my brother. So we spent it together. We thought it would be awful: everyone would fight, I’d burn the turkey, and it would have been a waste of time.
We aimed low.
It was the best Christmas – under the circumstances – that I could have asked for. The turkey was tasty. No one fought. We all laughed and were merry.
Hear hear for low expectations. You might surprise yourself after all. Happiness and good fortune to you all in the New Year.
I feel the same way. You know what I’m doing for New Year’s Eve? Sleeping.
You see, John, that is brilliant. Everyone else will be tired and hungover, and you, my friend, will get a massive jump start on the new year.
I’m quite the “Grinch” as well. This year I tried to create Christmas cheer by making “Christmas Craft” blog posts and taking cheery photos, but it didn’t work.
I do love the artistic elements of Christmas- lights strung up the trunk of a palm tree, shiny things, but that’s about it.
Next year I’m “wrapping” gifts in a plain paper bag with a drawing of the recipient on the front. And if my friends and family don’t like it- I’LL GET NEW ONES. HUMBUG.