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Poetry Pause - Holiday Malaise

Usually, I love Christmas. Not the commercial aspects so much, but the food, friends, and family bits. The crafting, decorating, and parties. The giving back. That stuff, I love. But this year, it all feels hollow, and so do I.


It's almost impossible to be in the Christmas spirit with the state of the world. The excess is tone-deaf with worsening climate change, record inflation, the burgeoning housing crisis, the war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the ongoing war in Ukraine... Need I go on?


I'm still going through the motions, wearing my ugly Christmas sweater and baking up a storm, but I'm not sure why. It feels like a lot of pointless work and stress. It feels like there isn't enough time and certainly not enough energy. I feel helpless and hopeless and not at all Christmasy. And maybe, that's okay.


Every now and again, a glimmer of the beauty of Christmas will nose through, when folding back issues of the New Yorker into Paper Christmas trees, or standing on my back deck barbequing in the glow of the Christmas lights. And maybe that can be enough.


Maybe I can sit back and let it be in all its complicated reality. Maybe, I can take it as it comes. Life is hard and we need to make space for joy, but we don't need to force it, or ourselves.


Here is a little poem about the duality of the holidays.



It Must Be Christmas Time

 

Tree needles and expectations,

cookie crumbs and indigestion.

Hand cramped from addressing cards,

another bulb broken into shards.

Forced cheer and pressure clear

to visit those you avoided all year.

 

It must be Christmas time.

 

And yet…

 

Clementine peels piled high,

their rinds radiant, bright, and dry.

Warm drinks and welcomes home.

Nostalgia of repeated songs and tomes.

Taking time from the everyday

to live in a better way.

 

It must be Christmas time.

 


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