It’s two days before Christmas. People are playing ice hockey with their kids on the pond downtown. My friend who lives next door to the school is blaring Christmas carols out of her window to cheer us as the kids head in for their last day before Christmas break. People are wearing Santa hats everywhere. The Who song from the Grinch is playing in the grocery store, and living in the town that is allegedly the basis for Who-ville, you would think that my heart would be growing three sizes this day.
But I still don’t have Christmas cheer.
In fact I’ve been decidedly, almost willfully, un-merry this year, even though I’ve tried really hard to kindle that spark. No matter what I do I just see the whole thing as a chore, and too much to do on top of my life that already has too much to do, and I don’t have enough money or time, and something to stress me out about whether or not my kids believe in Santa and how can I prove to them that he’s real? And should I even bother because then they’ll be the nerds at school?
Then it was John Denver who got me. I realized I hadn’t put on the all-time best Christmas album ever yet this year.
I danced to the “Christmas is Coming” round and “Little St. Nick.” The kids asked “What is this song?” because it’s so damn good and they knew it as soon as they heard it. I feel really bad for our kids that they don’t have the Muppets, by the way (maybe they will after Jason Segel’s new movie comes out – and oh yeah, I’m looking forward to it!).
Then he came to the part about Alfie the Christmas tree: “So in your Christmas prayers this year, Alfie asked me to ask you, say a prayer for the wind, and the water, and the wood, and those who live there too.”
Sobbing. Then he goes into “It’s In Every One of Us,” which happens to be from a folk album that my mother loved in the ’70s by David Pomeranz.
I know the words by heart. “It’s in every one of us to be wise. Find your heart open up both your eyes. We can all know everything without ever knowing why.”
Sobbing some more. These guys who I thought were such geeks as a child, and thought if I had to listen to those songs one more time I would lose it, and there I am just totally losing it after all (but in a good way). I guess I’m officially OLD.
Did I hit the rock bottom of Christmas depression? Or did John Denver give me some holiday spirit? Honestly it felt cathartic. So I’m on my way up, and that’s a good thing. Thanks John Denver. Happy Holidays everyone.