It Just Doesn't Feel Like Christmas Eve

‘Tis the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
the cat is sound sleeping,
as I sit here with my mouse.

No stockings are hung
by a chimney with care,
just thrown in the laundry bin
‘cuz I have more to wear

No children are nestled
all snug in their beds,
The only visions I see
are of oncoming dread.

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a little down this Christmas. I mean, it’s Christmas Eve, and I’m sitting in front of my computer, wondering what all the hulabaloo is about. When I was a kid — heck, even two years ago — Christmas meant something. It was an occasion. As I sit here in front of my computer, it’s just a day, no different than any other.

I don’t know why it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Maybe because there was no lead-in, no real build-up. It’s just “here”. Sure, I went to the malls — you couldn’t have missed the Christmas decorations if you were Helen Keller. But that’s not Christmas to me. My mother is here, as is a large portion of my family. Cathy and Craig are back in Oakville, and my Aunt Ruth and cousins Erica and Lauren are in the Toronto area. But is it their presence I miss?

Last year was my first Christmas in Calgary. I have family here — I didn’t really miss anything. But is it that? Is that what I am missing? Not just my family here — but all of my family? I don’t know. Sure, it’s the second Christmas in a row without Cathy. Without my immediate family. It’s also the second Christmas without Dad. No loud Christmas music, no massive amounts of decorations, none of the usual triggers one would expect for this season.

At least, none for me. There are plenty of other people looking forward to tomorrow. But not me. It’s just another day, just one where I don’t have to work. I think, if anything, I’m a little depressed. It’s too easy to lose touch with the things you need or want. It’s not about possessions — it’s about feeling. And maybe this year, I’m not feeling up to snuff.

Earlier this year, I started dating someone for the first time since arriving in Calgary. While we are no longer together, that experience awoke a number of things within me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I suppose it’s wholly possible that some of these feelings are contributing to the problems I’m having. It could be that I’m incapable of enjoying Christmas this year because of that.

But admittedly, I don’t really know. All I do know is that it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. And I can only hope that the feeling is short-lived. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life feeling like this every December 25th.

But don’t worry, I didn’t spend my time at home this evening. Tonight, we went out to visit with Aunt Alaine’s family, who are holding court out in Chestermere, about 20 kms east of Calgary along Hwy 16 (aka Trans Canada Highway). It’s a short drive, not far from my Aunt Brenda and Uncle Mike’s … or would be, if we had proper directions.

Getting to Chestermere is easy, don’t get me wrong. What’s not so easy? Finding the right house. Why is this so difficult? Because we neglected to get the address, or directions once inside Chestermere before we left the house. This left us circling the endless labyrinth of streets in a vain search for the Hovey residence.

Jen and I got frustrated. While everyone else seemed content to say “Oh! This is the right street!”, we were content to grab the cell phone, call the house, and announce that we were lost and needed directions. (I was a bit snarky about it, too — probably a result of the aforementioned frustration.)

Unlike previous excursions to the Hovey’s (at Easter), my family would not be the only ones in attendance. The Tisdales were already in attendance, as were the various relatives on Alaine’s side of the yard. Several “kids” (namely, those a lot younger than I). Luckily, I get along well with the rest of the adults.

We left shortly after 22:00, returning to Calgary. After a brief stop at Brenda and Mike’s, I drove Mom and Nana to Nana’s complex, where I swapped the van for my car (left at the complex when we’d done a run up earlier in the day). In a few short hours, I will be back at Chez Znack for Christmas Day.

Something that, for what seems to be the first time in my life, I couldn’t care less about.