What is it about Christmas that can be so depressing? Perhaps it’s the sense of eternal damnation fostered by “O Holy Night”. I’ve always found that Christmas carol to be somewhat disturbing, though still attractive. Or perhaps it’s the cold… and the dwindling light. Christmas falls not in a time of birth, but a time of death. Of course that association is no accident. It’s part of the mystery.
Christmas does lose it’s magic, and it’s charm, as one ages. It’s hard to experience something approximate to the past, except through the eyes of a child. Perhaps Santa will bring me one? He might have some stowed away in that bottomless sack of his, along with my unborn sibling, and that trip to Disneyland that never came.
Christmas is a time for family. Maybe I have a family, though I feel I do not. Like some alien, I have nothing substantial incommon with them. I feel no connection to them. Perhaps that’s the choice I’ve made, though. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt out of place when it’s come to them. Even my parents. I can remember when I was very young, in one of the rare moments that my mother and father were together, pointing to a man wearing a suit walking through the mall, and saying “I wish that was my dad”. Perhaps I was born elitist, or perhaps it was something I just learned as a child.
I don’t dislike my family. I just can’t identify with them. I suspect part of the reason I always gravitated towards activism, was because it provided a framework which could act as a substitute. I miss my Lodge, and I miss some of the more remarkable people I’ve met, and connected with, in the many different places I’ve been politically, and philosophically.
This will be the first Christmas I’ve spent with my family in two years. I’ve spent the last two with Amanda, and hers. The first time, because I wanted more time together with her (in long-distance relationships, time is always at a premium), and I wanted to meet her family, though of course, I was apprehensive. I spent the year after there, as well. Not because she wouldn’t have reciprocated, but because I actually felt more comfortable with her family than my own. I missed them, and I envied them. Her family isn’t perfect, of course, but it is a family… in a way that can not be disputed. Mine seems to be just smoke and mirrors. And when I think of mirrors, in this context, I think of those “fun house” mirrors, where everything is distorted to absurdity, and of those one-sided mirrors, where people lurk beneath the reflective surface, to observe for their own amusement, those who see themselves.
I do have a lot to be “joyful” about this holiday season. I need to focus on those things, and not slight them by refusing to acknowlege them. They, too, could prove to be as fleeting, as so many others. There’s that negativity again. Even when I’m being positive, it manages to creep in. Perhaps Santa has some black eyeliner, a striped shirt, and a My Chemical Romance CD, with my name on it. Spelled wrong.
12 Days till Christmas.