I’ve been a bit of a Scrooge this year.
The truth is, an early disappointment about Christmas affected me more than I thought it would, even though I had remarkably low expectations about it in the first place. I’ve tried not to wallow, truly I have.
But I’ve wallowed.
I realized a serious attitude shift was in order. I made myself do the things that I usually do this time of year. Two trees went up, packages were decorated and mailed, cookies and appetizers were made, and all the other things were finished. In part, the impetus was that we were spending our annual early Christmas with our friend-like-a-brother. It’s really important to me that the guys have a good time. I don’t want my bad attitude to affect their Christmas. I don’t want to be the girl who, if she’s having a bad day, makes everyone have a bad day.
And you know what? Early Christmas with our friend-like-a-brother was wonderful. It really helped to get in the spirit, sharing our gifts, watching each other be delighted by thoughtfulness.
But then he left, and a few hours later, the plague hit. So I’ve been in bed all weekend, somewhat miserable and those selfish thoughts of “why can’t I have what everyone else has” started to sneak in again. Scrooge had returned.
Of course, one thing that can happen when the plague hits is that I watch tv all day (or really, sleep through much of it) and at this time of year, there is an abundance of Christmas movies. Last night I watched White Christmas, and relaxed into Danny Kaye’s dancing and Bing Crosby’s crooning:
When I’m worried, if I can’t sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep.
And I fall asleep, counting my blessings.
This morning, I’m taking Bing’s advice and counting my blessings. Here are some of them:
- I’m sick, but I have a warm bed with plenty of blankets, and a husband who brings me tea and juice and water and soup. I am blessed.
- We don’t know if the people we’ve invited for Christmas dinner will come, but we have enough food to feed them and ourselves. We are blessed.
- We are protected from the snow by the house we call home. Even if it’s really cold outside, we are protected from those elements. We are blessed.
- We don’t have any kids of our own, but there are plenty of friends who delight in sharing about their children and grandchildren. Sometimes we get artwork for the fridge, and it makes me smile on normal days. We are blessed.
- In spite of not wanting to celebrate Christmas, we are ready for it and that means the stress level is low. This also means I can put my efforts into Advent, the waiting and the anticipation of a deeper relationship with God. Anticipation is a delicious thing. I am so, so blessed.
I may still have the plague–but my heart is much lighter. This period of resting is necessary, not just for my body but for my spirit too. This is God’s gift to me this year, time to sit and reflect on all the amazing things that I enjoy to balance out the sorrows that we all experience.
And Scrooginess? It’s been banned. I am choosing joy.