Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's the Most Miserable Time of the Year

This is not one of those happy face "grumpy" essays where I complain about the perils of erecting a Christmas tree or hearing the same hot new Christmas song once an hour. This, alas, is a little more serious. The holiday season, while bringing joy to many, also brings heartache. First, for many the holidays increase their sense of alienation from the community around them. One is never quite so lonely as when one is lonely in a crowd. For some, the tension of having the holidays turn out perfect heightens the dysfunction of dysfunctional families, creating enormous stress and tension. And last but not least, there is a bad or painful memory associated with the holidays. It is in this latter camp I fall.

My mother's birthday falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the malady to which she eventually succumbed befell her also during this time. While this is no longer the first Christmas and New Year's without her, the fact that this time of year was the time I paid the most attention to her makes it very hard for me.

The purpose of this little screed is to not bring you down. It is the holiday season and there are many things to be happy about and enjoy. I guess what I am asking is if you run into someone who seems more Scrooge than Santa Claus, just leave them be and understand that they may want to be as jovial as you but haven't found their way back yet.