Every year around the holidays, I wonder why I’m not “feeling it” the way I used to. Even though I’m now thirty, I find myself doing the same thing I did during the holidays as a teenager, and all throughout my twenties- trying to pull up an old feeling. You know that feeling. It’s that “magical holiday feeling”…remember it?
It’s an old memory now. Maybe I used to have it when I looked at the sky and was positive Santa was about to come. I guess I was awaiting something special…feeling that anticipatory glow. It came from expecting presents to appear out of nowhere…that wonderful moment of waking up and knowing something special has arrived…the feeling of barely being able to wait a moment longer. Now the closest feeling I have to that is when I open my email inbox after a long time of not checking it.
No, that’s sad. There are definitely times when I eagerly await something better than email.
But during the holidays, I guess I don’t know how to get that anticipatory excitement back the same way it used to be. So I performed my holiday traditions as usual- I got out my holiday stuff.
I lit my holiday candles and filled my room with pine smell. I made pumpkin everything. I played my Indie Holiday tunes Pandora station.
And I felt happy. I love all my little holiday traditions.
But I still didn’t get that old feeling back that I wanted so badly. So I sulked, vaguely disappointed. Every year I’ve sulked, feeling my special holiday feeling was just a hairs breadth out of reach.
And then I remembered something actors say to me all the time when I direct them in plays. They say, “Laura, I’m just not feeling it.”
And you know what I say back? I say “It doesn’t matter if you’re not feeling it! You’re not always going to feel it! Do the scene anyway! Just go with it!” I usually say this in a nice way, of course.
So with that in mind, I took a walk in Woodside at night during the first holiday season of my thirties.
And I laughed.
And I looked. And looked again.
And I felt something mild, and silly, and light. A subtle feeling. Older in a different way. Something like peace. Possibly hope.
The old feeling was gone. It had been gone for a long time.
And that was okay.
If I looked closely it had been replaced.
Happy holidays to all of you. Let in anything you’re feeling right now. It’s okay.