Christmas Spirit Reboot

This is absolutely, positively not the post I intended to write today.  In fact, I have debated with myself whether or not to get this honest about my life when this blog is primarily for storing my recipes and posting meal plans.
The post I wanted to write detailed all the things my son and I got done in a short two hour freezer cooking session, and instead, this one jumped out of my subconscious.  
**Deep breath**

During my childhood, Christmas was always a magical time of year, and became even more magical once I had children. I was, like, seriously over the top.....scavenger hunts, Santa footprints, story reading, cookie baking, carol singing, party going, loads and loads of present buying {each wrapped individually}, stocking stuffing on steroids... anything and everything you can imagine.  My most favoritest activity of all was to get the kids in their jammies on a weeknight {even more special} and ride around town to look at decorations and lights.  Oohing and Aahing is what we lovingly renamed those drives.
   A few years ago, real life problems got in the way and dampened my Christmas spirit leaving me with no desire to participate in the festivities. The most celebrated holiday of all felt like something to "get through"and even though I tried to spark some sort of joy within myself, I failed.  To be brutally honest, I lost the spirit of Christmas....I lost any desire to care about the fluff stuff.  I separated from my spouse, moved, and had serious surgery in the months of November and December.  Smiling and nodding became my go to "look like you are having a good time" move.  When confronted with all the trappings of the season, I only felt more lonely and anxious.  Avoidance was my only clear coping mechanism and might I add, I am quite the expert in that particular area. I did not put up my tree until Christmas Eve {Charlie Brown rejects, and only $5 at Lowe's} and I threw it out the day after the holiday.  I shopped last minute and mostly purchased gift cards due to my lack of creativity and loss of imagination.  I just could not think of anything anyone would even care to have.  I looked forward to January with the fervor of a starving person looking at a juicy cheeseburger {well that is if they eat meat, lol}
This year I am truly trying...I am showing up, making plans, binge watching Hallmark...even if I don't feel like doing anything festive....I am doin' it anyways.  
I decided to trim the tree the day after Thanksgiving for inspiration {while I watched the Gilmore Girls new episodes} and I successfully convinced my family to exchange names for gift giving....SO much easier and less stressful. I find myself thinking of some pretty good ideas and inspiration for all of the members of my family, regardless of who I get in the exchange. {told you I'm trying}   
  I am a pretty private person in general, but... I decided to use this post as a sort of diary or Christmas accountability log this year to keep me on track and to bring myself a little joy.  I am not certain that the holiday season will ever be restored to the level of what was before....but that is okay.  
Life changes us and for myself, I have to be open to what will be....not what has been.