A few years ago, a woman I worked with coined a word during the holiday season that has stuck with us throughout the years: FESTIVER.
(Now this was a woman with only a tenuous grasp of things like the basic rules of social intercourse, public decorum, and English grammar, and yet she had an encyclopedic knowledge of reality television. Now if that doesn’t cry out for a post railing against the problems in modern society, I don’t know what does. But I digress.)
So, yes… FESTIVER.
Festiver came about one holiday season, to describe the feeling that something gives you when it finally kick-starts your holiday spirit — as in, “I love when the Swiss Chalet Festive Specials are available. It makes me feel festiver.”
And last night, I finally felt festiver.
I was reading the various blogs and websites I visit, and on a few of them, they are beginning to talk about Christmas traditions. And a few traditions really sparked my excitement. There were a few things that I thought would be really wonderful holiday traditions to begin with our daughter, and I began thinking about this coming Christmas with a bit of excitement. I began feeling festiver.
For the past I-don’t-know-how-many years, Christmas has become one of those holidays we just DO. It had kind of lost any excitement or magic for us. We put up a tree, and we watched movies, and I baked endless batches of cookies to give to friends. But it was not really exciting for us anymore. It was kind of becoming a chore. We stopped decorating around the house or putting our (let’s face it, pretty gorgeous) Christmas lights up on the outside of the house. We mostly stopped making a Christmas dinner. We had little money, so gifts were cut back. And even the gifts we did buy were becoming a hassle to get, because with our schedules and how tired and stressed we were, going to the mall or going Christmas shopping held little joy. And because we had no money, we also felt stockings were an extravagance.
So Christmas was becoming… blah.
This year, we are still tired and broke. And our daughter is very little, and would not likely be terribly interested in Christmas this year anyway. And so, the thought of Christmas was still one of chores to do. Although we had planned to go home to BDH’s family for the holidays, which was the bright spot of the holiday season.
And then I saw these articles about the holiday and about traditions out there on the internet.
A couple of them really got me excited, for the first time in years. The thought of taking this year and starting new traditions for our family got me looking into years to come, and thinking of all the potential Christmas would have for us to be a really great holiday. Because, it is no longer about just us anymore — there is that little person over there for whom Christmas will soon hold some magic and joy. Maybe not this year, I know, but 3 and 4 years from now, it will be a Very Big Deal. And that got me excited.
I felt festiver for the first time in years.
I emailed links and ideas to myself and BDH, who was elsewhere in the house, cooking dinner and playing WoW — I mean, Saving The World From The Forces Of Evil — and then I ran downstairs to tell him about the fun things we could do this holiday season.
I could have rushed right out, then and there, and begun preparing for the holidays… had it not been fairly late in the evening and Stinkerbelle not been asleep in her crib.
Overnight, it began to snow. The wind began to pick up, and the bottom dropped out of the temperature. And this morning, there’s a bitter wind blowing snow around outside. It looks cold and miserable out there, as our house shudders and shakes in the wind.
And suddenly, faced with the prospect of going out in the cold and snow, I am not feeling festiver anymore. Not even slightly.
I hope the feeling returns. It was nice, to feel a bit of Christmas spirit for a change. So I hope that it comes again. Maybe on a warmer day.