I was talking with a friend today about our feelings toward Christmas.
She observed that most people she knows claim either to love it or to hate it. Some take special joy and comfort in the trappings of the season. Others carry them as a weight, fraught with negative associations, something more to be endured than enjoyed. (A few try to ignore the holiday altogether.)
My friend found it refreshing that i don’t have strong feelings about the season in either of those two common directions. What i do take from it, i take quietly.
When my children were little i delighted in making the season delightful for them – more because of people than things, though. There was no worry about them discovering the ‘truth’ about Santa, because in our family he was always a winked-at fiction — like being ‘in’ on an inside joke.
When I started setting up this blog, I had lots of ideas for topics I might want to post about. Sometime later, when I hadn’t yet got around to posting anything, I was diagnosed with cancer.
I decided quickly that I wouldn’t post about it, and correctly anticipated that others would inquire as to whether I would. I’ve since then been crafting my answer to their next question, “Why not?”
The first thing that occurred to me is that it’s such an obvious choice of topic, which is reason enough itself to decline. Second, it’s just too tailormade for heart-tugging and sympathy-engendering, leading to many obvious responses from others as well. “There but for the grace of god go I,” and all that. Third, of course the topic is interesting to me in rather specific ways, but outside of the easy melodrama, it’s hard for me to believe it’s that interesting to others. And even if it were, I would like to think it’s not the most interesting thing about me. Continue reading