Recently my grandma was asking me what I was planning on doing for Christmas, and it made me shudder inwardly. Of course it didn’t help that her short-term memory is awful and she kept asking the same question over and over. It’s not something I have any desire to think about, but I suppose I have to.
I used to love Christmas. I loved putting up a Christmas tree, eating yummy Christmas goodies, listening to Christmas carols, watching Christmas movies, and spending time with my family. It was never something stressful; rather, it was always one of the happiest parts of the year. Depression has stolen that away, and this will be my third Christmas in a row just not giving a crap.
Last year I stayed at my Grandma’s over Christmas, and had Christmas dinner at my parents’ place. My brother and his now-wife were there too, and it was just way too much. Not that there was any real drama; it was just over-stimulating and a difficult reminder of how much depression has taken away from me. It was really, really hard.
This year Grandma is in a care home. My brother and his wife will be spending Christmas with her family. So if I were to go home, it would be me and my parents, with me not even able to pretend to care, and my parents pretending not to notice me not caring. Grandma would probably spend Christmas with my uncle, but my parents wouldn’t be involved in that because my mom never had much contact with her brother but even less since me dad threw a random shit-fit at him a couple years ago and has refused to see him since.
Probably I will end up staying put and doing nothing for Christmas. Putting up the tree seems like more effort than I have any interest in spending, but maybe I’ll string up some Christmas lights in my bedroom. And maybe I’ll making some of my favourite Christmas baking classics, like shortbread cookies and butter tarts (which apparently is a Canadian thing – I don’t know why the rest of the world hasn’t caught on). Maybe I’ll gain 10 pounds from drowning my sorrows in rum and eggnog. ‘Tis the season, after all.