Christmas Blues

There was something else I was working on, and I got taken down by a massive headache today. I needed to get off the sofa for a little while and do something else, so I’m attempting to write this. Next week I’ll post the book review I was working on. Most years, I love Christmas and typically have already completed all my to-do’s, including decorating by now. This year I’ve barely done a single thing. I’m struggling to feel the urgent energy and excitement of the season. The weather, the mood, the separation, I think it’s all gotten in my head.

I illustrate my Christmas cards. I do several sketches and a final version before Thanksgiving so that I can take advantage of the Black Friday deals. This year, I just did it the other day. I make calendars and ornaments for my family. I haven’t even started those. I usually have some things for my hubby ordered and here by now. But this year, I just figured out what I wanted to do for him two days ago.

I believe I’ve identified the underlying issue. Many years ago, the hubby and I stopped giving each other much stuff but instead started planning adventures. Along with that, the kids in my life have no lack of things to open. So a few years ago, I started planned activities to do with them, like going to see the Grinch at the movies. Or little weekends away or trips for folks. I think that’s what’s holding me up. I have no idea how to tie how I give gifts together with the world at this moment.

It’s important that if it’s not an adventure, it’s something I make, or it comes from a small business. So, I’m wracking my brain for ideas that support families being together and having fun, even if I’m not there to enjoy it with them. I’m at a loss. But, I’m open to ideas and suggestions.

I’m not going to share my hubby’s gift here because he reads this, and I’d like him to have a surprise. Our presents are often concert tickets, going to a show, a trip to a new place for a weekend to snowshoe or hike, or massages. Our house is only 900 square feet, so stuff takes up space quickly. We (and by that, I mostly mean me) have a book issue, and all our nooks and crannies are filled with stacks of them. We don’t have much room left over. What we love is having experiences together. It helps that our moms figured that out and have offered gifts to encourage that.

As I write this, I have Alexa playing the Holiday Classics station to try and put me in the mood. It’s helping a little bit. When my cards arrive, I might start feeling the spirit. Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of the season. I love the idea of a little something landing in someone else’s mailbox far away.

The other thing I love about Christmas is the lights. This year our local sheriff’s office has asked people to keep their outside lights on all night. People who must travel at night for work feel more connected with the lights on, raising their spirits. The goal is for people to feel more awake as they drive and hopefully feel better as well. I friggin love this suggestion.

I’ve put a few photos here of past Christmas cards and illustrations I’ve done as gifts. I know I’m not alone is feeling off and unsure of how to approach the holidays. If I can do anything, for instance, send you a Christmas card, let me know.

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