It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas this year. The air is cold and frigid, and it’s impossible to go outside without wearing a few jackets, a scarf, a hat and some gloves to feel comfortable in the icy temperatures. Oceans of people race around downtown San Francisco making their last minute purchases, and the sounds of carolers float ethereally in the atmosphere. I walk by a familiar scene in Union Square – the tree is up, and couples cozy up to one another while they wait to skate at the holiday ice rink. But for some reason, despite the signs pointing to the holidays, I’m having trouble getting into the spirit of things this year. Each December, I enter the holidays with high expectations. I envision Christmas spices, gingerbread cookies, mulled wine, cranberries and hot beverages in the evenings. I want to feel scarves, wooly hats, gloves, Christmas sweaters and the conversation of good friends. The brisk air outside usually reminds me of the excitement of the season – parties, gatherings, and the rush that comes when you try to see everyone before they all dash away for the holidays until New Year’s Eve. This year, the season crept up on me so quickly that despite seeing all the signs, I barely noticed until it was upon me. And now, while we are in the thick of the season, I still struggle to get the “old Christmas feeling” I used to feel so strongly when I was a child.
Is losing that Christmas feeling just a part of getting older? Do we gradually lose that “magical” feeling that used to come around like clockwork at the end of every year? As I struggle to get that Christmas feeling back in my life, I am focusing on making sure that I am 100% focused on what truly matters to me – my friends, my family, my relationship and my health. In the end, that will have been all that has ever really mattered.