I am an atheist, duh, but I love Christmas. I wasn't raised atheist, so Christmas was something I got used to and and loved.
Not exactly the presents (although i love wrapping things, and holding small wrapped boxes) but the feeling of the holidays in general. The chill, the colors, the music, the smiles, the wide open space I feel in my chest when I see something pleasant and Christmas-y and beautiful (christmas lights, decorations in the mall or at home, wrapped things under the tree, chistmas cookies, etc).
But the past few weeks I've felt the uncontrollable need to suppress that feeling, and not get my hopes up. Making me miserable. And I thought it was my new birth control pills, my erratic work schedule, my crappy paycheck, etc. But yesterday I realized that I only feel like this at home. Despite my efforts to decorate the apartment with dollar store trinkets and bushels of garland. Despite making gingerbread men and listening to christmas music. When I'm at home, I'm unhappy.
This morning, I think I figured out why. And I'm writing it here to avoid saying it out loud. I think it's my boyfriend.
For Christmas, I want to do a lot of things. That wide open space in my chest urges me on to run outside, dance in the snow (which isn't here, just to clarify), and do everything christmasy i can find! I want to go ice skating. I want to decorate everything in sight. I want to do twelve days of Christmas activities/outings and go see Christmas movies at the theater. I want to go to christmas parties and laugh and drink and play! I want to drive around the neighborhoods to see lights and spend hours wrapping presents and watching Scrooged and Rudolph or Frosty. I want to drink eggnog and hot buttered rum. Go to small towns with lights and activities and festivals. Go shopping even though I'm all out of money and make christmasy foods every night. At New Years I want to go out and go crazy!
Most of all, I don't want to do it by myself. I don't want to be the only one interested. The only one excited in the least.
But that's what happens.
Again and again and again. Until the holiday has passes and the only one who decorated or baked or suggested any kind of activity was me. He doesn't say no to things very often (except It's a Wonderful Life, apparently but why would I want to do holiday things with someone who shows no actual interest in it?
Maybe it is my new hormones bugging at me, or maybe it's too many Forth of Julys where we sat at home and did absolutely nothing instead of going to see fireworks because he didn't have any idea what else to do. Or too many birthdays where I had to remind myself not to expect presents. Or too many christmases and new years and birthdays where if I didn't plan anything, NOTHING would happen.
And I'm tired of being the only one who plans. The only one that wants. The only one that decides.
I've had a partner for over four years. We've built a life together, more or less, and try to make decisions with each other.
And it's finally crashing down on me that --particularly in the holidays-- I don't have a partner in joy.
I'm alone in it.