What I want for Christmas?

The host for our blogging group sent out the prompt for our link up last week.  Deanna Dennis at A Long Run‘s topic was “What do you want for Christmas this year?”

My first instinct was to reply with something mature and generous like world peace or food for all the hungry people in the world.  And I do want those things, really.  But somehow it just didn’t seem like the truth for me.  Then I came at it with a clever answer that was similar to my post for Thanksgiving.  That I wished we could all let go of our high expectations of this one day (where we will gather, what it will look like, who will be there, what will we eat, how much will we eat, etc) and just let the day be what it is.  Myself firmly included in the admonition.  But then that still didn’t feel quite right.

I kept feeling the need to feel a little deeper for the truth.  Then the wrestling started.  And the tears.  And the ugly truth rose to the surface.

What I really want for Christmas is some time to myself.

I know.  It is horrible.  All my blogging mates had beautiful, self-giving responses and I come up with this.  But apparently it is my truth, so I guess I should set it free.  And put some context around it so you know where I’m coming from.

You see this blog is written by a deep introvert.  I need a certain amount of silence and alone time to process even the average day with its normal schedule and emotions.  And then comes Christmas.  A time when we all want to gather with our friends and family (and I do want to).  Things get a little fuller, a little busier.

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Then kids get out from school and we spend a very high energy week together 24/7 while they count down the days building gingerbread houses, baking cookies and asking me a million questions about what is coming next.  Then family comes into town and more drop by and we all spend a good two days together celebrating.  And it is all what I want and what I’ve asked for.  I have great kids and nice parents and parents-in-law and a husband I adore.  I love being at my own home instead of travelling around like we do on other holidays.

However, at the end of the multi-day celebration that is Christmas at my house I feel like the grinch movie in reverse.  I have iced and set out cookies, arranged the wings on a wiggling angel, arranged presents just so under a tree, slept little, risen early, served meals, cleaned, and worried about every one else in the room to the point of an exhausted frazzle. While I love every one under my roof and their being there, sometimes I feel like I just want to escape from it all.  Sneak away for an hour or two to rest and let myself soak in this moment that is Christmas for me.  

I am not sure if this is a realization of my incredible selfishness, or an insight that might lead to sanity.  But either way, this year I think I might just take heed and give myself a little gift or two.

what I want for Christmas

Maybe I will sneak out after the pageant and presents are taken care of and slide into a pew at a midnight service on my own. Maybe I’ll go to a church where I don’t know a soul and not say a single word to anyone.  I’ll sit and rest and listen and let myself be enveloped by the familiar words and song.

And later as the wrapping paper and bows sit strewn around the floor while kids put together new toys, maybe I’ll just excuse myself for a while.  I’ll hole up in my room with a good book to read.  Brene’ Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection sounds like it will do just fine.  If I feel tired, I’ll close my eyes and sleep.  Surely my friend at I Might Need a Nap would approve?  She says it will make me nicer.  Let’s hope she’s right.

Whatever you want for Christmas, whatever you need for Christmas, I hope it is available to you.  And if you are as introverted as me, I promise I won’t even speak when I see you sneaking out for some air.  I’ll just wink and pass the chocolate.

For my blogging mates’ thoughts on this question visit Deanna’s page here.

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13 thoughts on “What I want for Christmas?

  1. Time to myself was one of the ideas I considered writing about as well, and I only chose not to because I’ve addressed the issue on my blog more than once. I empathize with you and highly recommend the occasional holiday nap. It makes all the difference in the world.

  2. Wow! Thank you for writing this. I understand this so much and I don’t even host the Christmas festivities or have kids! I’ve had Christmas panic every year for about five years now and I’m working hard this year to achieve exactly what you talk about here. I’m trying to have a holiday this year that is free of my own expectations. Instead of trying to force it to be magical, I’m just trying to make it peaceful. (And I just read “The Gift of Imperfection” a couple of months ago. It helped me SO much. And it’s already probably about time to read it again!)

    • Thank you for hosting. I’m so going to try with you to let you of magical and go for peace. And thanks for the thumbs up on Brene’s book. I’m really looking forward to digging in.

  3. I endorse the napping. And I get it. Craving an anonymous midnight service myself. But the only place I know to go I would not be anonymous, so…..I guess that’s why I am becoming such a night owl, to have that time to myself. I hope you get what you are asking for.

  4. When I picked up my grand kids last night I stood in the drive and in the East was a beautiful “star” shining in the deep blue sky and I was reminded of this poem.

    I saw above a sea of hills
    A solitary planet shine
    And there was no one, near or far,
    To keep the world from being mine.

    Sarah Teasdale

    Beginning at age 13, I watched the sky for that reoccurring “star”. I named her Beauty. It is really the planet Venus.

    I too am an introvert. I too need solitary time to recoup from the demands of the world and mostly family. My gift to myself is your yoga class. I come in feeling like I have been running a race for days. But during class, the only thoughts that I have are attempting the poses and remembering to breathe. Afterwards I feel so refreshed and loosened up in body and soul. Thanks Dena.

    May be wanting peace in the world is really wanting to give each soul a little rest?

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