And that is okay.
It's hard to pin point just what will be different. I'm still busting out the Christmas music and have since before Halloween. (No judging. Remember that friend, C, I met in Denver? I would go over to their house in July and they would have the music going. They were a bad, bad holiday influence!) I've been making ornaments for family and friends. I've had both gingerbread and pumpkin spice lattes. The kids have seen Santa, thanks to my parents, and begun talking about what they would like for Christmas.
Yet... it's different.
I'm not anticipating Thanksgiving and Christmas with the wild abandon that I normally do. I'm making some gifts for the kids but not my normal "MAKE ALL THE GIFTS!" that I normally do. I usually am on the ball, making sure that the kids have an ornament, pjs and cinnamon rolls for St. Nicholas Day. This year... meh. The PJ will be there (already ordered and arrived) and I think I will have their ornaments finished. The cinnamon rolls might come from a can. And I just can't . . . meh.
Everything is meh.
I've asked the kids what their favorite part of the holidays is, and of course their answer is "EVERYTHING!" When Joseph was little, I cut out all the things I didn't LOVE about December and did only what we really like. There's nothing I don't care for to cut out. They love the tree. They look forward to the lights on the mantel. The lights set to music... the lights on the Plaza... snowmen donuts and more lights.
And I love shopping, Christmas carols, finding the perfect gift, making the perfect gift, homemade cookies... and none of this stresses me out. I adore it.
This year... meh.
Gifts are my love language and normally I can think of several things I want or need. This year... meh. I asked for a longer chain for a necklace and getting my favorite earrings fixed so I can wear them again. Books, always books. But... meh.
If the kids were older, I think I would insist on spending Christmas in some picturesque snow covered cabin in the woods. Since they are little, I have the job of balancing their needs and desires against my need for things to be different this year. I can't pull the rug out from under them just because I am "meh."
So, what are we going to do? Like everything else, play it by ear. Do what we love and guiltlessly say no to what we can't emotionally handle. Focus more on enjoying each other and doing things together, rather than stuff. Allow ourselves to be sad and happy at the same time. Remember and honor and celebrate, all at once.
I think if I tried to say, "EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST THE SAME!" it would be worse. It would be lying to ourselves because nothing is the same. It's not how anyone wanted the holidays to be but its how the holidays will be. This time of year is emotionally draining for me and I anticipate that it will be moreso this year. I am prepped and ready for it.
But, it's okay to be meh. It's okay for things to be different. It will be Advent and Thanksgiving and Christmas no matter how I feel and I can wallow or I can just do what I can. I chose to do what I can, even if I am meh.