I just haven’t felt very Christmas-y this year. I don’t know if it’s the strange weather we’ve been having; last week, the temperature was in the 80s, and it felt more like May than December. Or maybe it’s that I’m seven months pregnant now, and I’m feeling tired all the time with a constant backache. Or it could be that I’ve felt more than a little depressed about my work lately. Or perhaps it’s the relentless consumerism that gets me down every year. Even the constant jabbering about the presidential primary race is starting to get on my nerves.
Or maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever it is, I haven’t felt much like cooking. Or even eating. Usually, Christmas is a time when I feel inspired to try new things and do some baking, but this year, the kitchen has not been calling me. Actually, what I’ve most been craving are not rich foods or sweets but the crisp, fresh vegetables of high summer.
I think what I need more than anything is a break. I have been working a lot because I’m saving up my leave for my maternity leave. Next week, when I finally do get some time off, I’m looking forward to an endless round robin of visiting relatives’ houses. My husband estimates that we’ll put at least 200 miles on the car, and we’re not going to be traveling more than 45 minutes away from home. The constant arranging and visiting wears me out.
I think the best Christmas present I could give myself is some quality me time.
I have fantasies about what Christmas will be like in the next year and years to come. I don’t want to raise a child who associates the holidays only with a mountain of presents. Instead, I imagine the small but meaningful traditions we’ll create together that remind me of my childhood Christmases, such as baking cookies and going to see The Nutcracker. I picture leisurely Christmas mornings eating pancakes in our pajamas and opening stockings and seeing what Santa brought. These are the kinds of Christmases that I want to craft for my family, not the stress-filled, jam-packed , go-go-go holiday week that I’m facing right now.
Perhaps it’s too late to rescue this Christmas. But next year is going to be different. And I will make cookies!