Friday, December 15, 2006

It's beginning to feel 'not' like Christmas

It was a strange feeling to come back from Mexico 14 days ago and find myself suddenly immersed in the Christmas spirit. I've had Christmas in Mexico before and was looking forward to some Catholic celebrations and Feliz Navidad cheer but oddly enough I didn't encounter anything remotely Christmasy until I came back to Canada. That's when I was hit with Xmas songs, red and white decorations, crazy shoppers, long lines at the post office, nose-freezing tempatures and quickly melting snow. Suddenly it's holiday time.

And yet, it's not. The snow which I heard so much about while I was cruising down south disappeared within a few days of being back. And snow is a powerful Xmas Mood Enhancer. Instead we have been hit with huge rain and wind storms, such as the one that hit us last night. The headline on the paper today read "Hurricane Force Winds" and this morning I could see they weren't kidding as I drove through rush hour for 45 minutes, while almost every traffic light in the city was out. Thankfully people were obeying the 4-way stop procedure but it did mess a lot of things up. Not as much as in Washington State though, where four people were actually killed by the storm.

Then I got to my apartment, only to not be able to get in since the keys are electronic, and oh, all the power downtown was out. So I stood outside in the freezing wind and waited for someone to let me in. Eventually the apartment Manager's (i.e, the Old Bitch's) husband came to the door. Only he wouldn't let me in despite my shopping bags at my feet and showing him my keys. Finally he believed I lived there and practically followed me up to my floor (elevators didn't work with the no power thing). Then when I got in, my food in the freezer was melting, there was no heat, I couldn't recharge my phone and the computer didn't work. So I just passed out until the comforting buzz of the fridge signified that the power was back on.

This doesn't really have much to do with not feeling like Xmas; I just felt like complaining. But later on as I forced myself to go for a walk and get excercise in the blustery weather (big mistake since I think I made myself sick) I couldn't help but notice the scenery. Does this look like Xmas weather to you?




No, I didn't think so.

I don't know why it just doesn't feel like Xmas this year. I was in Palm Springs last Xmas and it didn't feel like that then either. That could have been because I was in a relatively warm place. But I've noticed that it seems to be growing trend with each passing year. The older I get, the less fun Xmas becomes, the less excited I get about it and the more it seems to just come and go. The same goes for Halloween too, which is a real shame because Xmas and Halloween are my favourite holidays.

In fact, I remember the last time I had Christmas at home, I was forcing myself to listen to Xmas music each night, turning on the fireplace, playing Xmas tunes on my computer, staring at my lit up tree for hours, baking cookies and generally trying to absorb the spirit of the season. But despite this, the holiday just never sank in and before I knew it, it was New Years day.

Of course this year I think I have a few reasons why it doesn't feel like Xmas. One is that my family isn't here. My brother and his friend and my dog are in Texas somewhere. My parents are in Mexico somewhere. I am here all alone.

Two is that because I am not actually spending Xmas here, I haven't gotten a tree or bought decorations or an advent calendar or any other mood-enhancing things.

Which leads to Three...the fact that I won't be here for Xmas. I will be in Scotland. In fact, as crazy as it seems to me, I will be in France this time next week. In fact, I will be flying over to The Continent on Wednesday.

Yeah. That's 5 days (AHHHHHHHHH!). A two-week whirlwind trip that has suddenly caught up with me and now all I can think about it all the things I have to do in such a short time before we leave. No wonder I don't have time for Xmas.

The only saving grace is that I will be spending Xmas with Ross's family in Aberdeen and I've always wanted to have a proper British Xmas. Even the few days before Xmas that we spend in Lyon, France should sweep us up in the European holiday of Saint Nick, roasted chestnuts and fatty geese.

Maybe Xmas is really just a frame of mind. Hopefully by the time the 25th rolls around, I'll be in the right one. If not, there's another Xmas next year.

13 comments:

jeff and ross said...

(Ross)
No need to get offensive.

Wanderlusting said...

Sorry. I guess this means you'll be crossing out the word "British" on your passport then.

jeff and ross said...

(Ross)
Them's fighting words and I will probably make you eat them when "Scottish" becomes a valid nationality on a passport...even though the nation itself might go down the pipes.

Vegas Princess said...

I agree, as you get older Christmas seems less and less interesting and definately more of a hassle. We are not doing Christmas this year for specifically that reason. All the joy and fun has vanished.

I am still jealous beyond belief you will be spending the holidays in Europe. I had forgotten about that fact and was going to suggest you come spend our Non-Christmas with us here in Vegas. Can't get any more non-festive than Vegas.

Shawn said...

People keep telling me that you get into the Christmas spirit again when you start having kids...

SO, you better get cracking.

Maybe that's why Angelina Jolie keeps adopting kids, b/c she wants her Christmas spirit back. They should make that idea into a Christmas movie...

Anonymous said...

I'd love a white Christmas but ours are always in the 30's C (90 +F)...then again a day at the beach on Christmas day catching a few waves is a great experience :)
From the LLs and I, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas :)

simon said...

3 things:- 1. Merry christmas

2. Climate:- I have a very good friend dr Jim Fowler.... a biologist from UK who was here in october (Australia)... the worlds climate is in very poor shape! worse than that really 100%... we are in trouble....
3. Enjoy Paris!! PLEASE visit Montparnasse! and le coupe chou.....


Ho ho ho!

Anonymous said...

I'll be in the Caribbean for Christmas...so I guess that will be a little strange. Weather-wise.

M said...

it's always stinking hot on christmas over here - and we have all that snow in the windows white xmas stuff going on! I'm surprised we're not completely schizophrenic!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how much better it gets when you have kids to be honest. I have a 9 year old and he is on the cusp of no longer believing in Santa.
You spend hundreds of dollars and scads of time shopping and wrapping gifts for 5 minutes of joy on Christmas morning only to hear 20 minutes later that they wished that they would have gotten something else.
Kinda takes the joy right out of it.

Charm School Reject said...

My Christmas spirit is back in full force because of my son. He just turned five and its his first Christmas that he actually "gets" it so its exciting. The first four, nope. And, like Rachel said, I only have a few more years til he gets over Christmas.

But....I wasn't in a Christmas spirit until my son got into it. So, maybe I'm faking it and don't know it?

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what...

That looks like the ONLY kind of Christmas weather that I would ever want. ;)

Steve~

Expat Traveler said...

it's because you need to be in Europe to feel the spirit... It's lacking here in a sad way!