We’re already ten days into December, folks, and I’m getting a D in Christmas spirit.

I’m not talking ♥ Christmas Spirit ♥ as in jingle bells jangling, Christmas cookie baking, spontaneous caroling, memory making, sing-it-from-the-rooftops holiday spirit.  Not that I’m knocking it out of the park in those areas, but that’s not the spirit I’m close to failing.

Those good intentions I had back at the end of November, when we were rounding the curve of Thanksgiving and diving into the whole “downhill to Christmas” sprint…well, it turns out I’m not doing so great at keeping them.

(I will not whine and moan.  I will not whine and moan.  I will not…aw, crap.)

I can’t remember a December that’s started off quite this rocky.

In the first ten days alone I’ve dealt with Queen Bee cruelty, an 8-year-old’s harsh treatment of Bear’s adopted status, hate speech toward my child, learning that this is such a common occurrence that my own kid has just been taking it in stride, busting a kid for skipping nightly reading homework for over two months, and finding out who’d told one of the neighbor’s kids that Santa isn’t real.

Really?!  REALLY?!?  I mean, come on!

And this was all on top of the typical family drama that comes with two kids.

I hit the wall on Monday.  Seriously, I packed those kids off to school, closed the door behind them, and cried big ugly tears, thinking I can’t do this.”  I was sure I’d hit critical mass, that the sheer volume of merde raining down on me was killing any chance I had of embracing the spirit of the season.

All my big talk about avoiding the trappings that suck the life out of December – the decorating frenzy, shopping stress, making every moment Magical, list after list after list – none of that was killing my month. My life was killing my month.

I’ve got this super-zen friend, and I can hear exactly what she’d say right now:  “Is that true?”  (She’s all about Byron Katie and doing The Work.)

Is it true that my life is killing December?  Well, on the surface it kind of looks that way, what with all the kid drama blowing up in my face.  But it’s not…these things are just happening to (oops, FOR) me, not actually destroying my month.  It’s my reaction to the mess that’s ruining December.

So then she’d ask, “How do you react when you believe it?”  Well, when I believe all this crap is ruining my month, then it actually ruins it.  I cry.  I feel overwhelmed.  I wonder how I’ll even make it to Christmas, let alone muster up some holiday spirit.  I feel exhausted.

And last: “Who would you be without the thought?”  Without the belief that this drama is killing Christmas, I’d be free to accept the problems as just part of life.  No more and no less than the usual life stuff we deal with…certainly not matters capable of ruining my holidays.  Not if I don’t buy into the idea that it can.

So I had a D in Christmas spirit yesterday, but I’m determined to turn things around.  I think I can, I think I can….