Reflections on Christmas Incongruity


Yesterday I listened to Christmas music on my commute for the first time. It was energetic and happy and evoked good memories, so it was a good start to the day.

But Christmas music also created some dissonance. See, it was 80 degrees yesterday. 100% humidity. I had the A/C on in my car, I was wearing a sleeveless blouse, and all the vegetation here is still green.

Do you know that almost all Christmas songs assume cold weather? They’re all “roasted chestnuts” and “snowmen” and “baby, it’s cold outside.”

It’s not cold outside, and I’m not staying over. Thank u, next.

I love where I live. Florida has been fantastic for me, health-wise. The sunshine and warmth provide a stable baseline for my mentality. They don’t keep me from anxiety or depression or whatever else, but they do tend to make it less severe for me. The sunshine alone is good for most people. That’s why Seasonal Affective Disorder is so prevalent.

So why do I feel this weird dissonance when I listen to this Christmas music in my tropical paradise? Because Christmas marketing is all about selling a winter wonderland. The music, the advertisements, the movies, the outfits. It’s selling a specific experience of bonfires and snow and a glorious celebration of the cold.

Don’t we all feel incongruity when our lived experience doesn’t match the vision we’re being sold? We worry that something’s wrong with us. We try not to talk about it, to keep everyone else from discovering that we don’t fit the mold. Maybe we lose track of our real feelings and desires.

Because the truth is, I hate cold. It’s bad for my mental health, and I only enjoy tiny, tiny snippets of the experience. I’m sickeningly happy to be in Florida, to be able to write you this article from my back porch because it’s warm enough for me to do that. I don’t even have fond memories of cold Christmases from childhood, because I grew up in south Alabama!

Maybe sometimes we’re not actually unhappy with our circumstances, we’re just unhappy because our circumstances are different. And being different can be hard.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year


This is a difficult tag for me to do, since I just buy all the books I want 😛

Ok, not all. But I have bought a ton of books recently. Here are a few that would be lovely for Christmas. [List is not in order of want/importance. That’s too hard.] Continue reading

Musing’s End


In between celebrations, Christmas is a good time for reflection….considering the past year, appreciating family and friends, and planning for the next year. For me, it seems like this is especially important this year. Many, many things have changed in my life over the last year. Starting college is the most obvious, but it has been a year of huge growth for me in other ways. All of these changes leave me with a lot to sort out. A few things stand out from all of this mental/emotional sorting.

1. I am very, very blessed. There are things about my life I don’t like, but in the big scheme, I have a very good life. I’m in school, doing well, paying for it from my jobs, fully supported by my family. My friends are amazing, always there for me. I have a spectacular boyfriend who came out of the blue and brings unbelievable amounts of joy to my life. I am in possibly the best period of my life right now, with nothing to really complain about. It’s important for me to remember that in the midst of the “growing pains” all of these changes bring.

2. I like being challenged. Christmas break is great, and I definitely needed the rest, but I find myself antsy, unsure of what to do. It’s hard to fathom, this freedom, after having to do homework practically every night for the last few months. I’m working 40 hours a week, but still feel slightly lost in the evenings.

3. I like learning. I never particularly liked school until college. Tying right in with the challenge point, I like being challenged to learn something. I could turn into a professional student very easily. I have to remember that when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to get out of bed or off, say, Pinterest. I know that learning is good for me, I just have to get off the couch and do it.

4. I still have a lot of uncertainty. Making decisions about issues in my life has only opened more questions about other issues. There are still many issues that I just haven’t decided. This sometimes frustrates me…in a way it makes me feel like an immature or weaker person. Which is probably an unwarranted feeling, but there regardless.

5. I was well-prepared for life. My parents and youth pastor repeated these mantras constantly about life. Do this, don’t do this, etc. Now that I’m on my own, I find myself realizing how true all of these teachings are. In a way, it makes me feel like such a typical child. At the same time, I am extremely grateful for such good raising.

Looking past all the annoyances and uncertainties, I am so happy with my life. I don’t take the time to acknowledge that often enough. This Christmas, think about what is wonderful about your life. Yes, your relatives may drive you insane. You may have had any number of disasters. You may have even had recent tragedies in your life. In that case, my heart goes out to you. But in general, I encourage you to be happy with life. It is magical and good. 🙂