Jealousy and Other Cool Emotions

Holidays are a tough time for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. My friend Kelly, who lives in Australia, wrote a piece about how tough it is being a single mom this time of year. I just read a blog about a person who is dealing with mom’s dementia and how difficult it is to visit, especially this time of year. People live alone, have nobody to spend the day with, others don’t care for those they are spending the day with, and it goes on and on.

It isn’t a Hallmark movie happy ending for everyone. It couldn’t possibly work that way. Ralphie always gets his Red Rider Gun, but lots of kids don’t get anything. How do you balance all the joy you should feel with all the jealousy you do feel when you see the people that get the Christmas they dream about? Hard to say, but you can do it, you can get through the next 10 days. I do every year, and it’s tough, but don’t get disheartened if it isn’t glorious 24/7.

I get jealous when people talk about traveling to see their folks. Most people kind of gripe about the traveling aspect. It isn’t cheap to travel for the holidays, airlines jack their prices, gas isn’t cheap, and traffic is nuts. I would pay any amount of money if I could spend one more Christmas with my parents. We didn’t have these “magical” holidays, they were just a day we had together. Things would get messed up, whether it was food, a bad gift or someone showed up jagged. But I don’t have it anymore, and it’s what I want for Christmas, it is just impossible. When you complain about having to go to see your family for a holiday, be careful who you say it in front of, some of us just don’t have that as an option, and you may not either some day.

Single people hate couples at Christmas. Not hate in the hostile way, but the annoyed way. I don’t know anyone who gives their spouse a Lexus with a bow, but I know people who make some pretty big grand gestures for a holiday. And it is so cool they can do that, but most of us single people only get our gift exchange at work, so don’t brag too much. It must feel wonderful to have someone write a love letter in the snow for you, I have to pick up Zelda’s poop. All of the ads you see on TV are aimed at the Happy Couple Christmas. That just feels like dagger the closer you get to the actual holiday. There is very little time to recover before the Valentine’s jewelry ads assault us, so be kind to us lonely souls. Maybe give me some candy. Eating your emotions is the best around the holidays.

Kids and Christmas go hand in hand. Yeah, I don’t have any of those. Believe me, I am very OK with that. I just never saw myself with kids. I don’t hate them, I just shouldn’t be in charge of them. I have said for years, working in a restaurant was the best free birth control I could have ever asked for. We don’t really have any little kids around right now in my family, so Christmas has been a little easier, yet kind of empty feeling the past few years. I can’t imagine what holidays are like for those who have never had the little kiddos running around. As big of a pain in the butt they can be running around Christmas morning, all hopped up on sugar and banging on the loud toys their aunt or uncle gave them, it is weird when that time has passed. We’ll probably get some more little kids in a few years, but it is a different feeling these days.

I have experienced many Christmases now, and they have all been mostly good. They evolve as you wander through your life. Time passages, as it were. You can look back with nostalgia, and convince yourself they were all perfect. Maybe they were, maybe they were awful. But they are all yours. If you are spending your holiday missing someone, I feel you, it isn’t easy. If you are wishing for something you can’t get, stop that for now, and appreciate what and who you do have. If you don’t have anyone to spend the day with, reach out to me, my family welcomes anyone from the Island of Misfit Toys, or join me and my brother at Cleo’s on Christmas Eve. Holiday Cheer, we believe in that as much as anything!

It is natural to feel a little jealousy and annoyance this time of year, even if you don’t admit it. Don’t let it take over, however. I hope you can replace it with some joy and love somewhere along the line. The holidays are hard for many, I don’t want it to be for you, my friends. But if it is, look for little joys and you will find them. Merry Christmas!!

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