I have loved December, loved Christmas (and Hanukkah) all my life, but this year the feeling isn't there.
I put up the decorations and put out the books at work. I'll do Christmas/Hanukkah story hours this week. Going to get out the stuff so I can do "Nutcracker" next week. Put up my sign for the Hanukkah lunch I throw the staff and will help put together the staff "holiday" party.
I'm figuring out Christmas gifts for the girls and other family members. Hung up the little "Peace" holiday flag and put the snowflake heads on my outdoor solar lights. Will get the Man to drag out the Christmas/Hanukkah box from the attic week.
But none of it excites me.
Tatay, my father-in-law is here in Virginia, living in what is basically home care with someone who isn't actually family. My sister-in-law and the Man are going up to NYC this weekend to clear more things out of the apartment the family has lived in for going on 50 years.
Our cousin, the family major domo, is moving to Buffalo. My oldest brother-in-law is already there.
At Christmas, we will be lucky to manage to see my other brother-in-laws and our niece. My sister-in-law and her husband will stay home for Christmas. My niece, her husband and her kids are planning to celebrate with friends.
Because of the trips to New York and the scheduling of everything else, I really don't have a Hanukkah party planned. We are thinking perhaps New Year's Day, but I'm not sure who will come.
We'll spend Christmas with my parents, but my brother and his family won't be there. They're never there at holidays.
My mother will fuss over a dinner that I could easily manage--but I have to let her do it--and my dad will be happy to have us there.
And the Man and the girls and I will be glad to be with them.
But we will be missing the chaos of Christmas with my in-laws. Even with Nanay gone it was still home and family, for me as much as the Man and my daughters.
And I find myself, for the first time in my life, not enjoying it all. Not wanting it to be Christmas.
Just wanting bleak January to close in already. Because it's the way I feel now.