Now that I just had to leave my awesome family and adorable puppy after a great Thanksgiving break, I wish I could stay home more than ever. It’s this time of year when I’m usually whining about wanting to enjoy the Christmas season and not do schoolwork. Tom likes to call it the “Christmas blues” and he swears it has happened each of the three Christmases we’ve known each other.
The Christmas blues are more than just not wanting to finish papers and take final exams. It’s more than just being homesick as well, although that’s certainly part of it. With stressed-out students surrounding me 24/7, it’s not the best atmosphere to relax and enjoy anything.
Everyone who knows me well sees this Christmas-obsessed side of me come out around Thanksgiving time. All I want to do for days on end is snuggle up next to a fire with a glowing Christmas tree beside it, with Christmas movies or music on in the background, and a mug of hot chocolate in hand.
I couldn’t tell you what it is about Christmas that is just so appealing to me, but I feel like a part of it is the “Christmas spirit” which I like to call love. Whenever it is Christmas-time, it seems like everyone becomes a little bit nicer to each other. It’s like an excuse to be a little more sensitive, more compassionate, and more understanding of others.
The sermon at my church this weekend was about the complexity of love. The pastor who spoke, a very emotionally-driven and sensitive man, explained that our culture has a problem with the word love. We use it to talk about so many different things that really shouldn’t be compared. I say “I love Chipotle” or “I love the Steelers” (which are both true statements) and I also say “I love my family” and “I love Tom.” Obviously the love I have for my family and my boyfriend of two years is greater than my love for huge burritos and the Terrible Towel. But for some reason, we still use the same word to explain our affinity for things and also for loved ones with souls.
This word means so many different things in different contexts and, like my pastor, I wish there were more words to explain emotions and feelings. I really don’t want to put my love for God, my love for my puppy, and my love for chocolate all on the same level by using the same word, but that’s what happens.
When it is Christmas, and we are surrounded by glowing lights and cheesy-but-sweet movie plots, this time of year exudes joy and evokes emotion. For me, I get a warm, deep-down knowing that life is good and love can conquer anything, and I just want to revel in that for a while. It’s a similar deep-down knowing that my family loves me and I love them, and that I love Tom and he loves me, and that God loves me more than all of those people put together and I learn to love Him back every day. It’s this kind of love that I could stake my life on, that makes living worthwhile.
So when I’m stuck having to have a work schedule every day and spending long hours in the library endlessly typing up paper after paper, it kind of kills the mood and discourages my spirit. My soul needs to be surrounded by beauty and music and joy, and needs to be less surrounded by the worry and hurry that is Boatwright library pre-finals week. It’s really tough for me to not just want to call it quits and turn in a makeshift paper instead of pushing through and doing my best work.
The only thing I can do in my situation to deal with my Christmas blues is to continue having a positive attitude, looking toward Jesus for encouragement (since he is, after all, the reason for the season), and bringing Christmas cheer to as many people as I can.
Wish me luck!