I’ve got the winter blues, y’all. But this year, doesn’t everyone?
Mid-December is usually when I jump into Christmas preparations: sending out a holiday card, buying presents, trimming the tree, trying on party dresses, baking cookies- it’s a full-time job, getting into the holiday spirit.
But in December of 2020, it seems pretty pointless.
Not a lot of good news to put into a holiday card. Not too many people in my bubble to exchange gifts with. It seems silly to trim a tree that no one’s going to see and that isn’t going to have any presents underneath it. There sure as hell aren’t any parties to go to, and everyone’s been baking approximately 105% of the time between March and now.
And yes, I know I probably need Christmas cheer more now than ever- I’ve seen Mame, I get it- but just…bluh. Why bother? Who cares? What does it matter? Why try to force a Christmas this year, when then universe so clearly doesn’t want it to happen? Just where am I even supposed to get Christmas cheer- make my own? In this economy?
Plus, you guys know I live in NYC- you saw that absolute wreck of a tree that they dragged into Rockefeller Plaza, right? That’s what the whole city looks like right now: nobody’s putting their best effort into the usual holiday magic, because we’re all distressingly aware that this isn’t anything like the usual magical holiday. Half of the famous storefronts in midtown didn’t even bother with their elaborate displays, and most of the celebrations, performances, and spectacles that we look forward to are cancelled- no Radio City Rockettes, for the first time in 87 years. If that’s not a sign to hang up the sleigh bells, I don’t know what is.
There’s no carol you can sing or holiday movie that you can watch to make this stupid, bullshit pandemic slump feel Christmas-y; it’s just going to feel like a Christmas-themed episode of the X-Files, and not even one of the good ones.
All I want for Christmas is to be able to spend the day with my family, who because of this nightmare of a year, I haven’t seen since last Christmas- and it’s not even a possibility. For the first time in all my twenty-eight years on this planet, I won’t be opening presents with my parents on Christmas morning.
Under those circumstances, it’s hard to muster up much excitement for putting up a string of lights out on the fire escape or whatever.
But I know I can’t be the only person feeling like this- and I guess that’s the silver lining, if you could call it that: we’re all in this together. It’s the worst Christmas I’ve ever had, but it’s also the worst Christmas you’ve ever had- we’re all brothers in this time of holiday strife.
And there is light at the end of the tunnel, now that we’re finally talking about upcoming vaccines instead of imminent lockdowns. This might be a depressing winter and a particularly blue Christmas, but it brings us that much closer to the end of 2020. Not a bad present, I guess.
And who knows- maybe it’ll all turn around if I say my prayers to Mariah Carey, the Patron Saint of Christmas Cheer. That should work, right?
One thought on “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Seasonal Depression”
I think you’ve pretty much captured the spirit of the season, alas. . . . The saddest part is not being able to go back to Vermont for Christmas. Me, I’ve decided I can’t take the chance and fly to Phoenix to see my (transplanted) Vermont family this year either. Oh, well, I remain cautiously optimistic, as I’ve said before. Meanwhile, if you want a timely laugh—and I suspect you’ve already seen this—there’s the ad “Match Made in Hell” with Satan dating 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPq23RWpgPM)!
Best, John F.
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