We keep a very low-key and pleasant Christmas. We only buy for those under 18, we do pitch-ins for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we all live within an hour (at most) drive from each other, and our tree is a 1 1/2 ft (0.46 m) artificial raggedy-butt with the lights and decorations left on all year; I unplug it and stick it in a box, then take it out and plug it in at Christmas.
So I fail to understand why I’m sitting here with an anxiety attack trying to get out of my body through my chest cavity. Thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump, look at Frosty go, except it isn’t Frosty, it’s my stupid heart.
Luckily for me, I’m used to it. It doesn’t happen often, since I started going steady with Mr. Lexapro, but I remember it well and recognize it when it drops in for the occasional visit.
Maybe it’s muscle memory from when we had lots of little kids around, and Christmas was intensely angst-ridden. Time of joy and magic? Try Time of high expectations. The small kids were fairly easy to wow, but the older they got the harder that was. Not because they were spoiled or jaded, but because it was so easy to be wowed when you were little, and you naturally lose that low threshold of wowability over time.
Is this the year I’m going to see that loss in my kid’s face? This year? This one? I’ll forever be grateful to #4 Daughter for, among other things, her reaction to that loss. When she realized where those toys came from, she didn’t cry, she laughed. She said, “All the grown-ups play this game? All the grown-ups pretend this, so the little kids believe in this magic? Really? All the grown-ups do this together?” She thought that was the greatest thing ever, and it really pleased and excited her that now she was one of the ones who could help make the magic happen for the little ones. Yeah, she was sad for the loss. It always hurts to be on the wrong side of the looking glass. But she threw herself into making joy for other people in spite of her loss, which is always the kind of person you hope your kid will be.
So stop doing that anxiety thing! Sure, there’s lots in the world to be disturbed about. No more today than any other day. Take a deep breath, MomGoth, and wear the damn thing out. Take a chill pill, MomGoth. That’s better.
I’m posting today at Fatal Foodies about a cornbread thing I made and liked.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: How does your main character feel about Christmas, or whatever the major family/gift celebration is in their culture?