I wake up each morning not counting the days until Christmas but the days until my calendar reads 2014.
I am done. Done with the throngs of tourists who have come to enjoy my city. The ones who are never told the dangers of walking four across the sidewalk holding hands or suddenly stopping at the top of the subway stairs to have a look around. I am done with having to hold my purse a little closer to me when navigating the crowds or wondering if that seemingly lost person who is asking me for directions is really lost or setting me up to steal my wallet.
I am done with angry people in the stores and ridiculous answers when I ask a question. Like the woman in Trader Joe's who when I asked where the canned pumpkin was told me they were out because it was a seasonal item -looking at me like I was asking her in July. I am done with the liquor store marking up all their prices and keeping the less expensive yet quite drinkable wines out of sight. And I am done wondering why it seems all my friends on Facebook don't seem as done as I am.
I get to this place where I feel like Ebenezer himself and have to struggle to remember what it was I always loved about this holiday.
My memories overflow with twinkling lights and snowmen made of Ivory flakes. Candy cane cookies sprinkled with crushed peppermint and a house full of family and friends. The mystery of who Santa Claus really was. Presents wrapped in shiny paper and tied up with green and red ribbons. The smell of pine filling the room. Watching White Christmas for the umpteenth time and still being enthralled. Love and hope and possibility permeating the air. That feeling that something magical was about to appear at every corner.
There it is! That is what the lure of this holiday always was for me. True I was raised to believe in Jesus and know that this is supposed to be the celebration of his birthday. But the message that was always the clearest for me was not that of religion - but that of magic.
Of believing in what everyone else wants to tell you cannot or should not believe in.
Christmas was never supposed to be about the business we have made it to be.
It's not Christmas I'm done with. What I'm done with is getting caught up in what others want to make it be. At least until next year.
With best wishes for a magical holiday season!
See you in 2014!!