I'll be the first to admit it. December, and the holidays in general, make me pretty depressed. I can never pinpoint why, though it might have something to do with the "ending" of things, as in the year. December always gives chance for reflecting upon the year being left behind, and a looking forward to the future, both of which can be unpleasant. The end of the year always fills me with anxiety and nameless dread. Christmas serves as fuel for the fire, helping only to see how materialistic and vain our society is (seriously, the tagline of Gap's holiday floor set is "Want"). You're supposed to be happy, everyone around is happy, and I somehow always end up feeling weird and sad. The guilt worsens when I'm asked to make a list of things I 'want'.
Perhaps this stems from some kind of childhood guilt where I couldn't comprehend how Santa Claus could come and leave oodles of presents at my house, and none for 'poorer children' (as we were told in school, etc). Christmas always makes me feel undeserving, like I haven't done anything to warrant the gifts given, like I know I should find a lump of coal and cannot understand it when I don't.
My favorite Christmas special is, at least in later years (because every kid really loves Frosty the Snowman, but have you seen that one lately? the plot doesn't even make sense!), A Charlie Brown Christmas, because he seems to know exactly what I'm feeling: "I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed." Of course, the ever-wise Linus returns with the remark: "Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem."
I guess it's time to change my act. So, for the month of December, I'm going to post about at least one thing every week that makes me happy. One thing that I like about the Holidays and the winter. Because it's important to remember how much you are thankful for. And if I'm feeling bad about myself, then I have to change something, do something worthwhile that makes me feel like a good person.
Then, perhaps, I will be able to understand Christmas.