Entering the Maelstrom


I say this just about every year on my blog, but I really dislike “the Christmas season 1.” I know people look forward to decorating, and lights, and parties, and presents, and eating too much — but I find the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas overwhelming.

To be honest I am a bit too “bah-humbuggy,” so I’m trying to do better this year. But it’s hard. I look at my schedule, which is suddenly overflowing with good things, and fear I won’t have amy time to reflect 2. The reality is never as bad as I envision, but I do get some moments of anxiety when I see my calendar and find something going on night after night after night for a couple of weeks. I’m just not that social in my natural state.

I think one of the reasons why I struggle so much is because my December schedule is made for me. Everyone schedules meetings, events, parties, and tasks which automatically populate my calendar without any input from me 3 and when I try to fit something in which I have been wanting to do I find my time has already been gobbled up by others. A big portion of me resents this, as my instinct is to be protective of my time. But I also understand part of being involved in a community requires me to yield up part of my autonomy and submit to plans others have. I may not like it, but if I benefit from the aspects of community life which I do enjoy then I must also be willing to embrace the aspects which I find less appealing. So the insanity of December is not my cup of tea, it never will be, but in the end it may be good for me.

But I’m still going to find time to disappear and tell the world I want to be alone. Part of being in community is also knowing how to retreat.

  1. By this I mean the non-religious syrupy sweet gaud-fest we call “Christmas,” which is celebrated independent of the religious observance. 
  2. Which is one good thing I crave. That, and Last Jedi tickets. 
  3. Nor, should most of these have any input from me. This is a confession, not a complaint. 


  1. Peg Horton says:

    And the first week of Dec. you have two dates .look forward to the day after Christmas when you take off. Hope will help.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Oh gosh, December was the WORST month of the year growing up. On the one hand, I was always super-excited for Christmas, but both my folks were under an insane amount of stress: Dad with advent services, chapels, bible studies, writing the series for Lent as well as the Christmas services, New Year’s services, and then all the funerals that somehow happened here, the family counseling that happened here, the meetings, etc etc etc. And Mom was immersed in choir and students and the children’s service and organ music and grading and the like. I can remember days where the smartest thing was to speak as little as possible lest a single question cause an eruption about how there’s NO TIME to deal with ANYTHING. Christmas Eve night was always the climax of all this insanity, and we would open our presents that night, too, because after church Christmas Day we’d go to my aunt’s for the day. As a kid I hated Christmas Day: all the excitement and magic of Christmas Eve was replaced by my toy-less, humorless aunt’s. Yet we went there year after year. As a parent, I can see now they went there because it was the first day after all that stress my parents could just sit and not do anything for hours. What a present THAT is!

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