Is it just me, or is it hard to feel Christmas-y this year? We have the house decorated, many of the gifts purchased, the photo Christmas card underway (note - Goal for 2012: Several dozen GOOD photos with all three of us in the picture). We have food, food, and more food (even Roast Beast!). But I'm just not "feelin' it". ;-(
I find the darkness this time of year really hard. I don't have "SAD" (although incidentally, I think that's an unfortunate acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder).
I can relate to Solstice even more than Christmas, or I can understand why early Christians would want to piggy-back on a holiday ("holy day") that says, "Don't fret, the sun will come back, things will grow again, and this too shall pass." If we think life is difficult in a time of abundant food, electric light, and central heating (no matter how expensive we find these things to be), how much more frightening it would be to face a harsh, long Northern winter without them, knowing that there is no safety net. For the poor of earlier eras, there was no food pantry, no heating assistance. Those loving gifts of food (fruitcake?) might be the difference between survival... or not.
I think it's the 21st- Century expectations that stress me out. I want everyone to be thrilled with their gifts. I want the people I love to receive their Christmas cards before Dec 25 (although I don't think that will happen this year). I want to WANT to go to church on Christmas Eve (even though I know it will be a hot, crowded, noisy mob scene). I want my house to be clean so that I can feel good about people dropping by. I want to NOT feel guilty about doing things for myself that help me, like knitting or reading. I know I could be doing "something more productive," but maybe productivity is making sure that I feel okay, even at a time of year when that's challenging for me.
I'm not trying to hurry past Christmas, but I sure feel better once I get to January. Then winter whizzes by faster than I can whiz down a ski slope.