Maybe this is only a societally conditioned woman thing, but: You know how you’ll go through little phases throughout the year? Like, there’s the gathering phase, where you feel like buying a bunch of stuff, and then the nesting phase, in which you feel like fixing up your house, and then the inspiration phase, when you feel like tearing a bunch of pictures out of magazines or right-clicking a bunch of images online? And then I guess there’s a creative phase, when you make stuff, and a sort of purging phase, when you give stuff to the Goodwill or sell it on eBay. And maybe there’s an organizing phase, too.

Right now I’m not in any of those phases. And it feels pretty good. Except that I think this is just the eye before the storm that is Christmas, and I’ll have to go through several phases, in rapid succession, very soon.

Christmas is special. It has its own phases.

The Generosity Phase – you want to buy tons of stuff for everyone you’ve ever liked or appreciated.

The Socially Conscious Miser Phase – you want to stop buying things and only give people gifts of your time or whatever.

The PTSD Phase – you remember sad/mad/bad Christmasses past and cower on your couch in several minor panic attacks.

The Weather Phase – you live in a semi-tropical region and feel bittersweet that there’s no snow. (Or else you have a snowball fight and wallow in nostalgia. Woo hoo for you.)

The Angst Phase – nothing you picked out for gifts is good enough.

The Greed Phase – you make big lists, mentally or on paper, of things you want, whether you give the lists to anyone or not. Sometimes you flip out and buy yourself a bunch of expensive luxuries, reasoning that no one’s going to get you what you really want, anyway, so you might as well buy yourself a gift or three.

The Starch Phase – you want to eat a bunch of orange and brown foods.

The Decorating Phase – you want to put lights and garlands and crap all over your house.

The Over It Phase – you want to fly away to another country and come back in the middle of January.

It’s very sunny and warm here lately, in Houston, so, like I said, I’m resting myself until Christmas draws nearer. If it were a little colder, I’d probably be panicking about gifts right about now.

Oh, and I don’t get my kids for Christmas this year – their dad gets them. So, really, I kind of feel like I have nothing to be excited about. No… really, it just means a whole other set of phases to go through, some involving loneliness and alcohol, some involving exhilarating freedom and glee.

What are your phases? Which one are you in right now? Why? Or did I just make all this up?

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Posted in Christmas, psychobabble on 11/20/2006 04:40 pm

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