What Travels With the Season

September 29, 2008
By Katelynn Bragg, Jonesboro, AR

Christmas is a joyous celebration filled with beauty and wonders that comes too seldom for some people. To me, it is more like a curse that delivers a needle to my heavy heart every year. It resembles a gift glittering with a shiny red bow, but contains sadness comparable to tragedy. Thanksgiving is the introduction to the holiday because after the turkey is eaten, my family is anxious to wrap our house in flashing lights and shove up a shedding tree in our living room. The flashing of the lights and the intensity of the smell of cinnamon scented candles throughout my house unite to influence the pounding in my head. Jolly tunes speaking of snow, warmth, and flying reindeer crescendo into screaming in my mind and make my vision blur. To top it all off, I wear a mechanical smile as an attempted guise to hide my inner torment. Now that you know the degree of negativity I feel Christmas radiates, I will tell you of my thirteenth Christmas curse……………………….I’m slowly chewing the savory food off of my plate when I over hear my grandparents talking of Christmas while sipping piping hot apple cider.

“May I be excused?” I ask, running from the dining table before I even hear their reply. I skulk down the hallway finally reaching my bedroom. I turn the cold doorknob and lock it. I saunter down onto my lime-green carpet, laying flat on my back. I lay there waiting for my stomach to calm its inclement outburst and for my head to slowly fill with the pressure that surely comes at times like this. Of course it was the realization that the holiday was coming that struck a chord somewhere in me. Why had it been such a shocker? I don’t know, but by now I know that having a bipolar mother and a schizophrenic grandmother has undeniably rubbed off onto me genetically. Having a twisted psyche is a problem I was bestowed and I just have to deal with it. I lay there for two hours and it’s not until someone knocks on my door that I yelp, chuckle at my uneasiness, and answer the door. It was my mom telling me that I needed to say good bye to everyone before they leave. I fake a few smiles, give a couple of lackluster hugs, and then scurry back to my room to coast into slumber.

For the next terribly slow weeks depression seeped into my skin and paralyzed me in a way. I hid it, but it was difficult to come to school and laugh when it was appropriate and keep my grades high to please my parents. My bedroom was the sanctuary where I could remove the guise and relax my forced smile. Social interaction was obsolete and I would walk aimlessly in the cold winter weather. This continued on until Christmas Eve came along and I lost it.

My eyes were focused on the white candle flickering in the darkness. My vision was blurry because I experienced light-headedness quite a lot those days. When I heard my mom call me from the kitchen I sighed, blew out the candle, and went to her in the TV room. My family and I then watched old videos of Christmases past and afterwards I skulked away to watch the falling snow. Imagine what I tell you next being in an almost animated form because as the scene played out before me that is how I interpreted it. I saw the heavily decorated lawns on my street and all I could think of was the competition between neighbors to be the best and have the most extravagantly lit house in the neighborhood. I looked at the perfectly decorated tree with just enough tinsel and the right amount of ornaments and knew that the twelve foot monster was placed in front of the window not for our own delight, but to create jealousy and envy. I saw the presents, heard the maniac music, the grimy grins, and I felt my heart burst. It seemed like my heart was imploding, my brain was exploding with pain, and my vision was dimming. I ran to my bedroom, locked the door, and collapsed onto my floor. The sobs came out like eruptions straight from the pit of my soul and shook my body convulsingly. As I trembled with pain and sadness the tears ran like water from a faucet and continued on for what seemed like a lifetime. Where was my family? Where were my friends? They were all laughing, sharing joy, and not thinking of me in the least bit.
My innocent heart hardened into tar.

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This article has 1 comment.

SaRah! said...
on Oct. 8 2008 at 10:24 pm
I see where you're coming from and I share the same opinion on the mediocracy of Christmas. KEEP WRITIN'!

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