Those of you know me know that the month of December almost invariably drives me nuts. I get into snits, sulks, tearing rages, crying fits and otherwise spend it complaining bitterly about the monster holiday that I DON'T celebrate taking over everything. I try to keep it off LiveJournal, but I usually fail at that, too.
I hate being like that. I hate not controlling my emotions, I hate the unreasonableness and, yes, insanity of that reaction. I hate the way it drives my poor husband nuts, too.
This year it didn't happen. I'm not saying it was perfect, but the only really bad day was Monday, and there were other reasons why I was sulking and crying and such. (Not that I don't wish more people thought to use the magic phrase "to those who celebrate" but I understand the desire to include even those who do not want to be included, and, anyway, most of the posts I saw *did* use that phrase.)
Oh, little things did irritate me, but I could just brush them off the way I hear grown-ups do and go on.
Maybe I grew up a little? I certainly hope so. About time, really.
But because I have to analyze things to death, I analyzed this, too. And I came up with a list of reasons why I was relatively sane for me this December.
1. yuletide. I'm still less than fond of the name, but this year I got into the story I was writing and I spent a lot of time thinking about and writing it, and also being more focussed on the deadline. So instead of, "I can't wait for the 25th to be over with", I was, "Oh, my goodness. The 19th is coming up *fast*." Plus I was part of the big thing that everyone else was doing - why I decided to do it last year, in fact. It didn't work as well last year, but it did this year.
2. My step-niece. As Aunt Debbie, I have the right, nay, the duty to spoil her. And so I also spent December in happy anticipation of seeing her and her pile of loot at the family Chanukah party (not to mention the other kids and their loot.) And she loved her big box of Legos,and insisted I help her build a castle. :) Somehow, that also helped me be less...negative towards Chanukah presents, which meant I actually chose presents for some of the other kids - something I've refused to do in the past - and perused my husband's wishlist and got him three books he'd wanted. That was all quite fun.
3. The new hobby. It's less annoying to see that BMW commercial with the screaming kids while my hands are busy, and I felt very accomplished when I finished my stole and my socks, and then learned how easy a sweater is - I started *this* month, and I already have the back and half the front of it done. Even doing the math for the sweater was satisfying. Oh, I tried to avoid most (not all) shows with Christmas content - but other than commercials, that still left plenty for me to watch. Somehow, having the kniting made the commercials and such just wash over me.
Also, last week, when a lot of people on knitting and the knitblogs were panicking about getting all the giftknitting done, all I felt was..well. First, I kept being confused - wasn't last Sunday gift day? It was for me. :) And then, I have to admit, there was a bit of smugness - my only knitted gift had been completed in November (for the niece, of course.) and my holiday was nearly over, and all I had to do was relax and watch everyone else scurry. (I'm knitting something for a friend now, but there's no date attached. Makes life easier.)
The result of this - I'm seeing people I like happy about their holiday and their families and gifts, and I finally am allowing myself to understand this. Maybe I am growing up.
Whatever it was, I hope I can keep it up.