In all my years on this earth, Christmas Eve has always been a day that marked a) me enjoying my birthday loot of the previous day and b) the anticipation of the loot from the next day. Often people have asked me if I got combined 'economy' gifts since my birthday was just 2 days before Christmas, and I have snickered at the thought every time. No, I was lucky in that my generous parents indulged my childish greed.
Fast forward to the present, however, and I feel like something is missing.
I've just turned 26, and I am now looking back at what the average man considers to be a a little over a third of his time on this earth. While I have been known to brood often, I usually am able to go through the holiday season without mournful introspection. This year though has just been very, very different.
It's been a great month in many respects, but not such a great year. More than anything, I feel a sense of relief that it's over, and I can now mentally start a new leaf thanks to the new year. But then, isn't that the case every year? The new year resolutions, the promises, the hope and optimism for a better year to come?
I'm not quite sure why I feel very jaded about this season. Perhaps it's been the work, and the busy schedule I've had this month. Perhaps it's the lack of real family time, and the little time I've had at home being tainted with endless chores and duties for the family. Even now, we are busily clearing up the house for guests next week, and stressing over a plan to go to Nuwara Eliya and Colombo with them. All the while, I'm planning on making a fake excuse to stay at work and skip it all. I'd much rather be left alone.
I have often wondered how my parents are so nonchalant about their birthdays and christmas. Their non-interest in getting presents or treats was something I couldn't quite fathom when I was young, especially since I was usually so giddy with anticipation to dive under the tree and tear off whatever gift wrapping was in my way. Yet, perhaps they've just gotten tired of it all, for at the end of the day, they still had to work till the 23rd, they still had a house to maintain, bills to pay, and often, family to entertain. Perhaps, I now understand it.
Perhaps I'm going through something similar. I hope not.