Reindeer Fatigue and Its Antidote

December 11th, 2010

The Christmas season, for all it’s supposed to be a time of joyful expectation as we await the birth of the Christ child, can be pretty draining. There are presents to buy and wrap. Cookies to bake. Parties to plan and attend. Carols to sing. Halls to deck.

And before you know it, you’ve collapsed beneath the staggering weight of all that tinsel and fruitcake, knocked insensible by the constant refrain of “Oh holy Christmas reindeer” that comes pulsating out of every store sound system.

This year, I’m extra weary. Between wrangling two kids and working what amounts to a sixty hour work week what with commuting to and fro for a full time job and working extra shifts at Borders on the side — I’m having some trouble mustering up the joy of the season.

And that makes me sad.

Happily, when I get frazzled, there’s a fix that almost always works. I sit in my living room, turn off the lights, and gaze at my Christmas tree. I know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, but let me just tell you that that pagan hunk of greenery in the front window is what really lights my heart up these days.

There’s just something indescribably lovely about a Christmas tree to me. The lights twinkle and the ornaments reflect not just that soft glow, but happy memories as well. There is the herd of four turtle ornaments — one for each year of college — bought by my mother in honor of my school’s unofficial mascot. And the silly orange tabby cat with wings, the mate of which I gave to my best friend one year in high school. There’s a luscious opalescent pear from my artsy Aunt Roo, and a Santa riding a wolf, purchased in tribute to my childhood canine companion. A pair of sleds adorned with my and Josh’s names — a gift from my mother-in-law the year I joined their family. And a small china teacup ornament that brings memories of my grandmother who died before she got to meet my children.

It soothes my soul to look at that tree.

One response to “Reindeer Fatigue and Its Antidote”

  1. G'Mom says:

    There is indeed something magic about a dark room and a lighted tree. Very soothing. I do miss the special ornaments when I "theme" my big tree. They're all on the far sides where I can't see them. But I know they're there – your baby thumbprint, picture-pop, sparkly tennis racket; Leggie's big orange carrot, my gold metal bicycle, my Dad's tiny gold violin, and a small ivory rose that my Mom used to wear.

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