creative fan.comI have a love-hate relationship with December.

Many people do.

As a person with an extremely fragile psyche, who has a low threshold for stress, I feel like December adds another 50 percent of things to be scratched off of my “to do” list, and therefore tells my sympathetic nervous system that panic mode is appropriate, that we are aboard the Holiday Titanic and have just hit an ice-berg. There are gifts to be purchased and wrapped, cards to be designed and sent, events to attend.

The month of December is like that beautiful Spring day after a long, cold winter when everyone is out, throwing the Frisbee at the park, wearing childish grins on their faces. There is an underlying pressure to be happy, the kind that my limbic system (brain’s emotional center) resents. Because if I have a day or two where I’m fighting back tears for no logical reason, the self-flagellation begins, especially if “Jingle Bells” is playing on the radio.

However, I’m not yet a bona fide Scrooge.

I recognize the magic of the season with its fresh snow, Advent wreaths, poinsettias, carolers, and Salvation Army bells (“Doing the MOST Good”—Is it really a competition?) at every sidewalk corner. The fascination with tinsel that I developed as a young girl has not totally left me. And my heart is touched in a way I can’t really explain every time I hear “O Holy Night” sung by Josh Groban or another gifted musician.

What I love most, though, about December is its message of hope: “Believe!”

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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