I’ll admit it. I am not a holy roller. At the risk of sounding like a Match.com ad, I am spiritual but not religious. If I were given supreme power, and the world would be very frightened of that I am sure, I’d nail all end of year holidays into a true Earth Day. Keep the tree, the cookies, the wine, the songs, the fruitcake and everything that makes your holiday but goodwill shouldn’t be about one religion or creed. It’s for everyone.
That was the long way of saying I don’t usually look forward to people gatherings. My shrink probably would have a name for it but I’m one of those people that dread the family events yet once I get there, I have the time of my life.
This time of year, I always search for the holiday spirit. To pull from every Hallmark card, where is the spirit of Christmas? Where is the magic? It would seem that I haven’t had it since I found out there was no Santa at the young age of seven.
So where is this holiday enchantment so many speak of?
My mom throws a holiday party, open house-ish, every year. Begrudgingly I go every year. This year was particularly painful – The Patriots had a night game on the same night.
There I was. Mingling. Talking to people I don’t see for months at a time, even longer.
The evening was a mixture of wine, food, and friends. I found myself laughing in every conversation.
Therein lies the magic. After the last few events in my life, you start to count the years. How many behind. How many ahead. You start to survey the room. It is with sadness that you can say some will not be there at the next event. You want to freeze everyone just as they are as sort of a sick, life taxidermy.
I have another admission – I am a loner. I like my peace and contemplative quiet. After an evening of raucous conversation, I am wondering if I should reverse that nature. It’s that clamor that makes our lives delightful. We can’t hide under our blackberries from it nor should we. These are the people that nurtured, consoled, and lived with us. Side by side. They are the very fabric of why we exist.
Like most, I am proud of who I am. And like most, there are times that I feel I’ve earned the right to be on my own. To not get involved with family. I’ve done my bit for king and country. I deserve my own island.
It doesn’t work that way. I am not only a part of those around me, but they are all a part of me. A huge part. Family and friends are my blood. They define whom I am no matter how much I yearn to be left alone.
The conversations ended. A crispy dusting of snow crunched under my feet as my family departed my mom’s party.
I did make the Patriots game. Throughout it all, I kept thinking of the faces I spoke with all night. The happy eyes that stared back at me. The memories that were my past that I could taste once again.
Call it nostalgia. Call it reminiscences.
I call it Christmas magic….