Everywhere but my house, at least. We've not put up the first decoration, and I'm honestly leaning toward just not bothering with it this year. I've got a box, somewhere, full of the ornaments I've collected since I became a grown-up and started putting up my own tree each year. Inside are the hand-crocheted bells and snowflakes my Granny made, starched, and hung on her tree every year before she died. That box hasn't been seen since it was put away after Christmas 2008; last year, 2 weeks after we'd moved to our new home, I went searching for the box, ready to decorate our new live tree - and it was nowhere to be found. I tore through every square inch of our home looking for that box of sentimental treasures. I don't care about the airplane ornaments left over from my ex-husband's hobby, I don't miss the Cinderella trinkets I'd collected over the years - but those snowflakes and bells lovingly made with my dear Granny's painfully arthritic hands, I've cried real tears over the loss of those. My Momma says "I have some, Nat, you can have some of mine", but it's not the same.
So it's been a year since the ornaments went missing, and I'm still mourning their loss. I feel very Bah Humbug every time I think about it. Christmas was so magical when I was a child, and it just doesn't feel that way to me anymore. Now it's full of social engagements and present-buying and cookie-making, all of which cause me stress because we're supposed to look forward to this all year long and when it arrives I always find myself overwhelmed and broke and grumpy and short on time.
Maybe I'll have Jimi put some lights around the porch. Maybe that'll help get me in the holiday spirit. I've pretty much decided against a tree this year, as my ornaments are still lost, live trees are expensive, and fake trees are not real. I keep asking Jimi "What do you think - skip the tree?" secretly hoping he'll be all "NO! We MUST have a tree! We'll get all new ornaments and start our own decorating traditions", but he'll never do that, cause he's all Buddhist and shit and only says "Whatever you want to do, sweetheart. This is your holiday, not mine." And even if he did say we should get all new stuff, I'd still not want to because it would cost a fortune and we can do that after Christmas and save a million dollars.
I do love the lights, and the good cheer, and the baking, even if it does stress me out. I love spending time with my family, and watching everyone open the gifts I picked for them, and playing games, and laughing, and eating. I love the fact that this is the ONLY time of the year where I can take a full week off work - 5 whole days in a row with a weekend on each end - and I love that with the way the holidays fall this year, I'll take 3 vacation days and be off work from 12/23 until 1/3. That's a win, and there's no way to be sad about it. And maybe the company will treat us all to a fancy-shmancy dinner at an expensive restaurant again - last year we went to Rivue, a revolving restaurant on top of the Galt House overlooking the Ohio River and downtown Louisville. We felt like big shots for a few hours.
So yeah, ho hum, Christmas time is here. I'll get with the program soon. I'm sure of it.
Meanwhile, today is Bodhi Day. According to the link, "It is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that Gautama is believed to have experienced enlightenment.... According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a Pipul tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate one's self from it." In celebration, I'm going to perform random acts of kindness. That may just mean buying Kim's lunch and not telling an employee to go to hell, but it's a start. :) Happy Bodhi Day!