Like so many other sentimentals, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The parties, twinkle lights, family time (so many cute baby outfits) and peppermint hot chocolates keep me in a whirlwind of excitement that lasts the whole holiday season. Usually. For some reason over the past few years, when I’ve tried to embrace the Christmas spirit I end up feeling like Cindy Lou Who (I channel ‘Where are you Christmas’ daily). No matter what I do, Christmas seems just out of my grasp – taunting me with a plate of gingerbread cookies and glass of prosecco.
To add salt to the wound, I’ve had a few hilarious Christmas fails this year. I use the term hilarious lightly because at the time, I found them quite the opposite!
The Christmas light fiasco of 2015. My roommates and I live in a quaint little house (one the benefits of being a college student that doesn’t live in the dorms is the decorating opportunities)! After I spent the day decorating the inside of my house, I finally braced the cold to put up the outdoor lights. One of my roommates was journeying back from Thanksgiving break, and I was determined to have all the lights up for her return that night. My other roommate was a big help – we spent a few hours in the fourteen-degree weather, putting them up along the edge of the house as it was slowly getting darker. As we finished putting up the last string of half-working lights on an enormous bush, every single one of them went out. We tried fixing them for over an hour, with no success. Merry Christmas to us! Eventually, I managed to get one set on the front bush working – not very festive, but at least we have something. The next week, I was facing:
The Christmas cookie disappointment of 2015. Everyone who knows me understands that I am more of a cook – baking is far from my forte. Although, what kind of Christmas enthusiast would I be if I didn’t decorate some homemade sugar cookies? Well, I wouldn’t be. I made the most perfect sugar cookies from a packet, that for the first time were baked to absolute perfection rather than burned to a crisp. After an hour of anxious anticipation, the cream colored cookies had finally cooled down enough to decorate. The icing tubes that I picked up before the rainstorm hit the perfectly cloudless day, turned out to be almost completely solid! Now of course I could have made my own icing – but by this point, Christmas spirit was dwindling.
After two weeks of feeling grinchy, I finally have to admit defeat. Why doesn’t Christmas feel the same anymore? Boise, after all, is where I’ve spend almost all my winter breaks, so why has it lost its holiday appeal? Do I feel this way because Christmas really is different this year? My sisters are both away, my Mom is halfway across the world, and I’m not spending Christmas day with my grandparents. The problem isn’t Boise, the family I won’t be celebrating with, or the lack of snow. The problem? It’s me.
Each year that I get older, I have noticed a decrease in my festivity. I don’t participate in Christmas traditions as much as I used to – putting up the one-of-a-kind decorations with my Mom and stringing lights on the house with my Dad, playing Christmas carols (badly) on the piano and listening to the most tasteful Christmas playlist every waking moment. I didn’t realize that some of these traditions were what kept my spirit up, that wrapping presents together and eating only fancy appetizers for dinner were what made the Christmas season so magical. Playing the clarinet in my high school band and doing a seasonal concert each year seemed awkward at the time, but now I look back with only fond memories wishing I could decorate the bell of my clarinet with some tinsel once again.
Here comes the good part – now that I know what the problem is, it’s time to fix it. I need to start setting my own Christmas traditions, or it will never be a time of enjoyment. I need to replace the fuse in my Christmas lights and buy a surge protector. I need to start collecting my own one-of-a-kind decorations. But most of all, I need it to keep snowing!