By Anita Garner
I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day and Thursday night better than Friday (a holdover from when we used to work a five-day week.) I like the days spent making packing lists for a trip (remember when we used to travel?) and watching for the delivery truck to arrive, even when it’s something I’ve ordered for myself.
I cling to anticipation. It’s the only thing I get to decide and even that is iffy these days. The days/weeks/months leading to any event are my favorite part and when Christmas has come and gone, it’s not the presents I’ll miss. I’ll miss waiting for it to arrive.
Some people are superstitious about expressing a desire for something, fearing they might jinx it, but even when we try not to, of course we have expectations and with them come the possibility for disappointment. It’s a chance I’ll take. Having no expectations would feel like giving up, not something I’m willing to do. If optimism is only for children who still believe, then put me down for that.
Before bedtime every night (shall I add “during these unprecedented times?”) I try to find the next thing to look forward to. It might be as big as completing a project or as small as taking the first step to start a new one, or looking forward to tomorrow morning’s coffee.
Here I sit surrounded by gift-wrapped packages and lights and provisions for wonderful meals and my thought is, now I only have a few more days to spend in anticipation. I’ll snap out of it as soon as I come up with the next thing to look forward to.
By Anita Garner
People often pick Sunday night as the worst part of the week. Not the daytime, but the late afternoon into evening part. It’s the time when we realize the weekend is over. Even if it’s been a lousy weekend and we should be glad it’s over, still we dread Monday.
Some of us confess to a vague sense of dread as Sunday comes to a close. Is it the memory of having to give up our free time and go back to school Monday morning? Even mature adults who love their work and don’t mind at all showing up on Monday, deal with feelings of melancholy on Sunday night.
My favorite day of the week is Thursday, because on Thursday, we’re already through half of the week and headed into the part where we’re looking forward to a weekend. Though I work at home and don’t have to show up anywhere most Monday mornings, I still get that looking-forward-to rush every Thursday. There’s even an old saying for it. “Thursday’s good as a Friday.”
The one thing in life I feel I can control is anticipation. People say “Don’t get your hopes up.” I like getting them up. So I like Thursdays the way I enjoy most of the nights-before: The night before a birthday, for instance, and the ultimate night-before – Christmas Eve.
I like Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day. It doesn’t have to do with presents expected, but more to do with having everything waiting and yet to unfold. Christmas Day requires special maneuvering to keep it from feeling a bit like Sunday night.
Thursdays are Christmas Eve every week, when hopes are high and everything’s still possible.