Why holiday specials matter to me (and it has little to do with nostalgia)

Scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas © Charles Schulz, Warner Bros. Television Distribution (source)

As an older person without kids, what business do I have snuggling up for the annual showings of How the Grinch Stole ChristmasA Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Not much if you ask society. I mean, c’mon lady, don’t you have anything better to do with your holiday time?? There are things to bake, make, and decorate! There’s all that spreading of holiday cheer among your friends, family, and co-workers! And there’s all sorts of other…um, stuff…that, uh, women tend to do around the holidays! Old holiday cartoons are old news!

Well, society my dear, you’ve simply got it all wrong. Yes, it’s true that the holiday season is busy enough for both, ahem, men AND women AND children AND pets, but behind all that hustle and bustle hides, for me, an air of melancholy. It’s not seasonal affective disorder or something as heavy as full-blown depression, just melancholy, and only hints of it here and there.  However, with each passing year, my sadder moments become harder to escape. And I never quite know just how they’re going to manifest each year. Maybe it takes me a little longer to really “get into the holiday spirit,” maybe I put off decorating for another weekend, maybe I bake a couple less special treats.

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