Finding the spirit of Christmas is a little harder this year

I am the poster child for Christmas, period. I know there's a lot of holiday geeks out there, but I feel like I'm right at the top of the tree. I've even been known to dress like a Christmas tree for holiday gatherings so you can see there's no limit to my enthusiasm.

I have a curio cabinet that holds antique Christmas collectibles that's up year-round. I'm the first in line for the Macy's tree unveiling and, this year, I had the great honor of serving as mistress of ceremonies for the 900 North Michigan Shops inaugural Illuminate 900, a city-wide, arts-forward tree lighting ceremony and party on November 17.

However, this year, I must admit, I haven't even put up all of my usual decorations. I don't know why and it worries me, this dampening of my enthusiasm. Everyone seems so "disjointed" these days--the election didn't make a lot of people happy, the crime in the city is out of control, the economy sucks and there's no snow.

Sadly and irrationally, out of all of these negatives, I think the thing that bothers me the most is not having snow. I have a Christmas sweatshirt that I've worn for the last 20 years that says, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" and, as many times as I try wearing it, it's just not helping this year. How do people in warmer climates do Christmas? Can they even pretend to be joyous when Santa's sleigh has no place to glide and land?

I'm still trying though--Christmas music is playing non-stop, the tree is up and beautiful and I've got some trinkets scattered here and there but still.... it's just not quite the same.

I think as I get older, the losses we've had in our families (Chuck's and mine) are starting to take their toll making me more sentimental, if this is even possible. I cry at Hallmark commercials. There are ornaments on the tree with all our lost loved ones' photos and, quite frankly, there are way too many of them.  Maybe this is the reason why I'm just not feeling the spirit of the holidays.

Oh, I'll shake myself out of this because, I do have a little family to entertain. And goodness knows, Mickey and Rooney would miss not dressing up for Santa. Ho! Ho! Ho! (see, I'm trying!)

I hope your holidays are Merry & Bright! Cherish the moments and make them special!

P.S. Since I wrote this post, we now have a beautiful layer of snow! Thank you Santa!

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, my award-winning internet show, "Candid Candace TV ", my blog, CandidCandace.com and, of course, every Sunday in the Chicago Tribune (Candid Candace in Life & Style)  Thank you!

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