Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Music - Love It Or Hate It.

I'm not a fan of Christmas carols. They tend to have catchy little tunes which, once lodged in my brain, play on an endless loop - repeated and repeated and repeated, until I'm on the point of screaming. When we lived in a small town, I'd go into one chain store in the month of December, and the only song that ever seemed to be playing, was "The Little Drummer Boy" - I'd step through the entrance door, hear "rum-pum-pum-pum", and, like a ruminant with a new cud, feel my teeth beginning to grind together.

Through zealous working of my program in Al-Anon, I no longer feel pitched into a pit of depression around Christmas-time, but I haven't quite achieved a gleeful state, either. I've managed a place of relative acceptance of the bumf, hype, and, as overheard while out with a friend yesterday, "exhortations to spend more money you don't have, buying gifts for family members you don't like!"

I no longer have to "get through" the holiday season, while "acting as if," so as not to cast a grumpy shadow over those around me. I can let past unhappinesses fade away, and take pleasure where I find it. 

This may be my ability to appreciate the goodies, (chocolate oranges!) the companionship of good friends, and evenings spent driving around the city admiring the creativity of various homeowners when given strings of colored lights. I may never reach the point of mad passionate revelling in this holiday, but that's fine, I don't have those sorts of expectations of myself. I do what I can to enjoy myself, and turn the rest over to my Higher Power.

I can feel intense gratitude that I am no longer where I once was - trapped in a violent childhood, an abusive first marriage, my own insane thinking.

I can feel gratitude for my creature comforts - shelter, food, warm clothing, a small warm dog to hug against my chest (who, when she's feeling exceptionally affectionate, will ever-so-gently nibble the end of one's nose.)

I can feel gratitude for my mental comforts - love, shared laughing fits, good conversation, my program friends, sponsor, sponsees, and program literature to read if I awake in the middle of the night after a disturbing dream - I tend to get those this time of year.

I can feel gratitude for a very loud sound system, so that when I get a Christmas carol cycling madly round the track inside my head, I can attempt to blast it out with Bach's harpsichord concerto in D minor:


  1. Sometimes I feel like I am an alien at this time of year. Everyone over booked stressed eating too much. Your post reminded me that not everyone is feels jolly this time of year. I don't feel bad but I am not ready to celebrate exactly. I will quietly view the seen from outside the window this year and feel grateful that I am not depressed like I was last year.

  2. I only like carols when I can sing them loudly and off key. And I am not even drinking.