Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. A successful dinner with family and after-dinner drinks and socializing with neighbors made for a great day.
But I didn’t realize until after the kids were in bed and my family had left that I was missing something. I didn’t feel the excitement I used to feel.
There was no anxious buildup for the day (I didn’t even buy the stuff for cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner until Tuesday).
And while I looked forward to seeing and spending time with my family and really enjoyed having everyone over, I wasn’t giddy over the whole thing.
We’ve now turned our focus to Christmas, most of our decorations are up inside and out. And while I like seeing them and don’t mind the work it takes to put them up, I don’t have flutters in my tummy thinking about the excitement of the upcoming holiday.
It’s not that I’m down about it, it’s just not like it used to be. And I didn’t realize until the after Thanksgiving lull that I realized what’s happening: there’s been a shift in the holiday excitement.
The hard work of preparing for the holidays that used to provide overwhelming excitement and joy inside me is gone. But it’s not a bad thing and I’m certainly not disappointed or saddened by it.
The holiday joys and anticipation that used to fill me up now fill them up and everything I do to prepare and get ready for the holidays is now for them. I do it to see their eyes light up. I do it to watch them take in the wonder.
And while I may no longer be filled with holiday joy, anticipation and excitement like I once was, I am filled with so much more.
I am filled with anticipation of seeing my children’s glowing faces Christmas morning. I am filled with the joy of seeing them take in the holiday wonder for what still feels the first time for them. I am filled with excitement for being able to take part in their holidays.
It’s not the same as it once was and it will probably never go back to the way it was but I’m okay with it. I’m okay with knowing my holiday joy will be coming from a different place from now on.