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Christmas cheer is not for everyone - King Rat
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gkr
gkr
Christmas cheer is not for everyone

I don't celebrate Christmas. Not now. Perhaps when I get old I'll rediscover the holiday. For now, the Christmas spirit is not something that resonates with me. Not so oddly enough, I have Matt to thank for a lot of it. I don't mean his death either.

Years ago, our family planned Christmas at my grandparent's place on Shilshole. I bought gifts for everyone. A lot of books, I'm sure, but I don't remember exactly anymore. I like to give people books. Reading is good for the soul, and there's a subject and a book for almost everyone's personality. If a person doesn't like to read, there's a coffee table book. Or in Matt's case, he loved baseball so I might have given him a book on Ken Griffey Jr. That's the sort of thing I would have given him.

That Christmas, after Matt opened the present from me, he became quite upset. He thought I had given better gifts to other people in my family. The dollar value wasn't high enough or something like that. I carefully removed the stickers, but he sized up what he got and decided it wasn't enough. He pitched a fit. This was sometime around when he was 18 or 19. I don't remember the exact year.

To me, the idea of a gift is that it's something given from the heart. It's not a measure of love. It's a token of love.

Ever since then, I've pretty much stopped giving gifts at Christmas or birthdays or other occasions where the receiving if gifts is expected. A gift isn't an obligation, or it's no longer a gift.

Instead, I resolved that if I saw something that would make a great gift for someone, I'd get it for them and give it to them as soon as practicable. When I was last in Ontario, I saw a shop that had gargoyles. I knew Deborah would love what they had, so I picked up one or two. Or, if someone says something that gives me an idea, I'll set out right then to pick up or otherwise make that for them. I watched Dawn scribbling notes on a little memo pad, and I decided to get her a nice reporter's notebook.

I don't do this enough. That's because my head is swirling around my own problems and issues.

I don't want to wait until some designated time, and I resent when love is measured to the nearest thimbleful.

So I refuse to be measured.

Matt dying on the 25th of December just adds another set of memories that make it difficult for me to celebrate. I don't connect some cosmic significance between the date and his death. He could just as easily have been driving too fast for icy conditions in late January. I'm not expecting other shitty things to happen on the 25th.

Nevertheless, every December my thoughts turn to Matt. As do those of other people who knew him. And so many want to revisit him. It's not that I don't. But all the things that circle my head are mixed up. Hearing about him from the prior generation of aunts and uncles and whatnot often just pisses me off. I don't know why. Talking about him with friends and acquaintances sometimes turns into a contest which I refuse to play. The what shitty things have happened to me on Christmas game. Then there's the coo over Phil activity. I'm not a delicate and unique snowflake. But this has broken me and sometimes I do need a hug. And I'm never sure which side will make it's appearance. I don't blame the people. Often, they have their own issues and I may be playing a part in them. That's kind of hard to explain. Let me break paragraph and tell a story.

Victor died 3½ months after Matt. My interaction with Victor was limited and mostly not pleasant. Nevertheless, I went to his funeral and cried because his death touched a raw nerve of my own that still hadn't healed. I also remembered how comforting to me was seeing a church full of people at Matt's funeral. All those people who gave a shit about Matt. So I also went to help fill the church because that might help Victor's family. That's somewhat conceited though, because I know Victor's family like I know a guy walking the street on 85th. That is to say, almost not at all. Being there was for me. I got to feel like I was helping in a little way.

So people who want to do the same for me, I can't blame them for that. Sometimes I just want to snap at them and sometimes I need them and that puts me in a quandary.

Anyway, the season isn't ripe for celebration to me. I am not asking for distance. Nor am I asking for closeness and caring. I have no idea what I need. I mostly just want people to know where my head is at, cause I ain't reacting to the world the way other people are.

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Comments
sirensanssmile From: sirensanssmile Date: December 25th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I had received that reaction to a gift I would also rethink giving gifts as well. Can't blame you at all.
I also prefer to give gifts if I find something that suits someone near me when I find them and not save them up for some predetermined day.
I don't celebrate christmas anyway and this is the first year I was actually forced to. Christmas doesn't fill me with some happy and loving spirit, it just annoys me.
combatbootz From: combatbootz Date: December 26th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)

You put it in words...

"Sometimes I just want to snap at them and sometimes I need them and that puts me in a quandary.

Anyway, the season isn't ripe for celebration to me. I am not asking for distance. Nor am I asking for closeness and caring. I have no idea what I need. I mostly just want people to know where my head is at, cause I ain't reacting to the world the way other people are."

Exactly what you said there applies to my own situation in my heart, head and my emotions in my own way to the world and my life experiences. I do want to snap at the ones close to me and I want to have them close to me and hug me... which usually hightens my emotions in to even more confusion and I have no idea how to react so I end up needing to get away alone.
In a totally different comment, I know what you mean about the price tag of gifts and the expection and not to mention the difficult task of trying to find the right gift! But for me its more about being around family with great food.
webcowgirl From: webcowgirl Date: December 26th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Come visit us in London next year. We'd love to have you.
turtlegrrl13 From: turtlegrrl13 Date: December 26th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
You me and Kaia should get together and make pie! Kaia has greatly improved her baking skills on this trip. She also gives great hugs as do I. I will be back on the 31st.
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