Every year, I ask myself when I’m going to take the Christmas decorations down. This year, the answer was pretty easy, and I took down all of them today. Except for the lights on our apartment balcony, that is–it’s still too dark out too early, and the lights help.
You see, I’m headed off for a trip to Florida soon, and knowing our cats, they’d take the first opportunity to knock over the tree and roll around the ornaments in a vicious game of cat hockey, leaving only the hardiest ornaments alive. Plus they barfed on the Christmas tree skirt again this year, which was squicking me out. Even cleaned up, it’s still barf.
This year, too, I’m still not all caught up in the “Christmas spirit,” and it feels like a relief to finally pack the last of the decorations away. Space. Openness. Clean. The last three years we ended up leaving the tree up past New Year’s so I could enjoy the cheer longer, something I hadn’t been able to do since my parents, in what was sometimes a gesture of thoughtfulness, and other times an effort of exerting more control (usually a little of both), always took it down the day or two after Christmas in order to keep my birthday separate from the season.
I know Christmas continues on for several more days until the Epiphany, and I do want to honor that. Christmas isn’t just one day, contrary to popular belief–we have second Christmas, third Christmas, and all the way up to 12th Christmas. And it’s not the preceeding weeks to Christmas that is “Christmas,” like the retailers like to say. That’s called Advent. Where we “wait in joyful anticipation.” Christmas on the other hand is, well, Christmas. Celebration.
This year, I celebrated when the first day of Christmas was over. A weight lifted off of me, and I think once I pass my birthday (new year’s eve), even more weight will lift off of me. Hopefully.
Honestly, I’m wondering if I have some sort of low level, creeping sort of depression that sneaks up on you, sinking into your bones. I’m afraid of calling my psychiatrist and asking for a dose uppage (15mg to 20mg of Lexapro) just for a couple of months to get through winter. Maybe it’s not depression…but what if it is? I know my therapist thinks it’s mostly memory and associations that is causing this depression, and I think she’s right about that, but still, there’s only so much exercise and getting off my duff and therapy can do.
Maybe this trip to Florida will recharge my batteries.