Last night, as I walked across Union Square, watching the disassembling of the Holiday Market, I wondered where had all the time gone. It was almost as though Christmas had snuck up behind me. Sure, there were the obvious hints of window displays, the tree at Rockefeller Center, and endless promotions of “receive by Christmas” landing in my inbox, but I simply did not feel the same festive or holiday spirit that I had grown up knowing. Instead, it seemed more of an anticlimactic building to something that was soon to be forgotten about.
Perhaps it is the snowfall that is missing from the picture, which may very well have completed the picture at either Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center. Or perhaps it is the fact that I scroll through my Facebook feed and begin to look at these redefinitions with whom people spend Christmas. The notion of friends spending the day with parents and siblings is now replaced with photos and status updates of them and their significant others – embarking on lives anew.
This spending of Christmas away from Toronto shouldn’t feel so foreign, should it? After all, I flew across the Pacific last year on Christmas Day. Somehow, though, I can discern a particular difference between today and last year. At least in crossing the ocean last year, I was making a purposeful trip to see family, whereas this year, I sit alone in my apartment with the exception of the shared and overly drawn out experience of watching Les Misérables on opening day.
It’s not so much the loneliness that bothers me, but rather, the change. My being here in this city delivers a stark realization of sorts that I am growing up, and that traditions are put aside and redefined.
So, Merry Christmas.