I have had a revelation. Christmas is not all about me. Whoa. Ok, I suppose this might be apparent to the rest of you, but I was more shocked by this idea than I'd care to admit.
This came to me while I was in the midst of a full-on holiday-induced pity party because I'm single and will have to go to holiday parties with no date when everyone else will have a husband/fiance/boyfriend and I'll be the only single one there and even the high school boy is bringing his girlfriend and everyone will be giving me single person pity or asking when I'm going to get married or maybe talking to each other about how sad it is that I can't find anyone and how it's a shame since I have a good personality and don't even get me started on New Years because the entire holiday is built around parties which require dates to avoid patheticness and being the only one standing there with no one to kiss at midnight.
For whatever reason, this year has been exponentially more difficult on that front. I had no boyfriend last year at holiday time and yet, the joy and merriment of the season was in no way reduced due to that fact. This year my state of aloneness is threatening to suck the joy out of the most wonderful time of the year. I feel myself turning into that girl (who, at holiday parties can honestly go one of two ways: sitting in the corner crying in her eggnog OR sitting in the corner having an ill-advised drunken make-out with a male co-worker of questionable attractiveness.) If I continue down this path, I fear that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come will show me scary bitter old woman Lori who chain smokes, has nineteen cats, and who the neighborhood children believe is a witch. Yikes.
So there I was, staring at the Christmas tree and feeling sorry for myself. When it occurred to me that Christmas is not, in fact, about me.
The joy associated with the holiday is meant to come from one event, the birth of Christ, which does not vary from year to year based on my level of personal happiness. Every year it is just as amazing and awe-inspiring as the last. God Almighty chose to give up heaven for 33 years to live as a human, hurt, cry, suffer, and ultimately die an excruciating death. And He didn't come down riding on clouds. He came as a helpless baby, dependent on a very young first-time mother and her not-quite husband. And He did it for us.
And all of these parties are supposed to be in celebration of that. An event to which no shepherd or wiseman is reported to have brought a date. Because it wasn't about that and it still shouldn't be. They were drawn there out of a need to worship the newborn King. Whereas I've been spending my holiday season bowing down at the throne of what everybody else thinks. No more.
So I found my Christmas joy again. This year I just had to look a little bit harder.
No progress, however, in locating my New Year and (GAH!) Valentine joy. Anybody know where I can get a good deal on some cats?