I will admit, writing out sincere wishes for happy holidays to family and friends has made me feel a little more enthused about the season. Finding myself wishing that we had gotten our tree up this weekend so I could do our cards in the glow of its lights, and that I had ordered the school photo packages that come with more wallet-sized pics . . . But I’m not done yet. Missing several addresses, from those who have moved or gotten married or that I’ve lost. So there is still a chance I could finish while seated by the tree.
I don’t think I ever mailed last year’s cards.
I remember begging my mum to let me be the one to do our family’s cards, and wondering at her seeming lack of enthusiasm for the decorating and other duties of Christmas. Now I know: it’s the result of exhaustion. There is a lot of pressure on parents at this time of year. And I don’t even like Christmas — I prefer Yule, focusing on the Solstice and the traditions of bringing in greenery and candles to keep the winter and darkness at bay. Haven’t been as successful at making that a tradition for us as I wanted to, with including explicitly Pagan symbols like the Green Man, and doing Sabbat ritual celebrations with my kids, but since Christmas is really an amalgam of various customs, including Pagan ones, that’s okay. It’s a flexible holiday, for me.
I suspect I will feel better when the house is clean again, the tree is up, and I can light candles in safe places. Candles make me happy.