Confession: My "Holiday Cheer" meter is at 0-5%.
Chalk it up to working a lot of hours (I'm grateful for a job, I'm grateful the hours fly by, I'm grateful I can be proud of the work I've done at the end of the night (or beginning of the morning, depending how you look @ it). It's just a LOT of hours).
Chalk a bigger portion up to having been paid to be festive in the past. Having to decorate & host & play nice with visitors & volunteers? Having to stretch a budget & be family to elder residents who don't have people willing to visit? It's draining. I have great admiration for those who can tolerate it cheerfully.
The greatest portion has to do with not having a place of my own. The apartment my first Christmas away from home was decorated to the hilt. My roommate and I made sure of it, and it was sparkly & cozy, with touches from home & decorations of all our own. The next year was a little less enthusiastic, as she was spending time with her boyfriend next door. The tree still went up, & with the help of my boyfriend's 4 year old daughter, it was decorated the weekend before Christmas. The same tree went up the next year, around Thanksgiving, in a smaller, more crowded apartment, this time with the help of a 5 yr & a less than enthusiastic boyfriend complaining about the space it took up. The 4th Christmas away from home the tree stayed in the closet, as my roommate at the time didn't really celebrate & I was busy decorating at work. The only sign of the holiday in the house was 2 red ribbons on the front porch. The 5th year I gave away my tree & flew home to see my family.
This year? This year I'll help with holidays tasks at my mothers request, bake goodies for friends & co-workers, go to a couple of Christmas parties, and search out the right gifts for people on my list. But I don't have enthusiasm for the season. Come December 26th nothing will be different. I'll have some more material possessions to keep track of and have spent time with more hours spent with family members who have a hard time not telling me what I should be doing with my life & hassling me about not dating or living with my parents, but nothing will be different.
All I want for Christmas is change?