Melancholiday

Christmas went by in such a blur, as it often seems to now that I’m supposedly grown up.  It feels like just yesterday we were putting up the tree after Thanksgiving, and tomorrow we’re taking it down.

It always feels like I didn’t do enough Christmas-y things.  I didn’t watch enough TV specials, didn’t listen to enough songs, didn’t attend enough parties, didn’t go to enough tree lightings or parades or festivals.  It’s not as bad now that I’ve got a job where I get holidays off.  When I worked out in the parks, too many holidays were just another day at work helping other people celebrate them.  At least now I get the day off like so many other people.

But then again, my wife is still out there on the front lines, and too many of her holidays are half spent keeping tourists in line.  And her schedule kept us from doing a lot of the holiday things we wanted to do the rest of the month.

I’m not saying my Christmas was bad.  I ate too much and got some really cool stuff and had time with the wife and family.  But when I woke up on December 26th, there was that feeling again that I’d somehow wasted the season by just not doing enough.

I think a lot of it has to do with memories of my childhood, when Christmas meant a two-week break from responsibility.  You got out of school the week before Christmas and that was it until after New Year’s.  A three-day weekend can’t compete with that.  And I’m sure a lot of this will disappear once we have kids of our own, and have someone through whom we can experience the holidays in a whole new way.

But tonight, I’ll take one last look at the Christmas cards hanging on the wall, turn the tree lights on one last time, and hope that next year, we’ll be able to give ourselves more of a holiday.

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