I was thinking today how fast Christmas came up on me this year and how I'm having a hard time getting into it. Damn, only three days to go. I never did get the lights out onto the front bushes (the weather didn't help). And we didn't send family pictures in our Christmas cards this year. Thankfully, and no thanks to me, Mrs. TEH got cards sent at all.
I think a lot of it has to do with "routine" factor. Looking back, I seem to get more excited about, or at least more interested in, Christmas during times when things have been shaken up in my life.
Of course, as a kid just the thrill of getting presents was enough to sustain a pretty good high for weeks before Christmas. By the time I was a teenager, the getting of presents wasn't quite as thrilling since the presents began to take on a more practical tone (clothes, typewriter, etc.), but having a little income added the new dimension of being able to buy others presents. I thought that was cool at the time.
My first year away from home in college I thought it would be totally great to bring a few of the family's Christmas albums to my dorm room and crank them as loud as I would a Rolling Stones record. Yeah, that was massively stupid but my 18 year old mind thought it pretty awesome.
After graduation and getting my first "professional" job, I spent my next few Christmases essentially alone in my schoolhouse apartment which offered me the opportunity to put up my own fake, $15 Christmas tree. I began collecting a few cheap ornaments as well. Being alone, it also allowed me to wallow in a bit of melancholy (or is it melancholia), something I actually enjoy from time to time (my version is a state of mind that lies somewhere, when set to music, between I'm Only Happy When it Rains and This is the Day).
Soon I was married and that brought not being alone and a family of my own and in-laws and all that.
Years later, I was unmarried again and getting my first cheap fake tree of my new life. This time I actually had money and could buy presents for everyone and send my own Christmas cards and it was all new again. And being alone, I could also wallow in my melancholy! Wow, a two-fer this time.
Then I was married again and was able to get into the family aspect once more. The addition of my son in 2003 again peaked my interest. But alas, even that is starting to fade and here I am going, "How did Christmas get here so fast?" again.
Next year I need to work at it a little harder. I resolve to get a family photo for the Christmas cards and get the lights out on the bushes. Come to think of it, there are still three days before Christmas and it's warm and precipitation-free outside at the moment. Maybe I can still get the lights out. Christmas is saved!