November 20, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
The guy who is all, “Bah-humbug, I hate Christmas, I had a bad childhood, yadda, yadda, yadda…” Just decided to turn off the television and put the digital music channel on. The Christmas digital music channel. The one (of two) that plays 24 hours a day Christmas music.
Yeah, I nearly fainted.
See, his childhood did suck. His father was there, then not there, then never got him a decent gift EVER but would take exotic vacays with girlfriends. His mother was “too poor” trying to make ends meet (and putting herself through college) to get him much. “You can buy your own bike” they said. He was ten. He had a paper route.
He tolerates the holidays. He cannot stand them, really. He despises the commercialism, the frantic shopping, the greediness. Being reminded of having a dysfuncional family at Christmas really depresses him. He prefers to sleep through November and December and just wake up and have it be the new year. A few years ago it nearly broke us. I was miserable because he was miserable. I let him know (this is the sanitized version) that I was going to ENJOY this season. Then I let him know that he had exactly 3 days to get his fuzzy butt to a doctor to get checked out. After being with him for over ten years (five years married at that point) I was growing tired of his holiday meltdowns. He retreated to his little cocoon and didn’t come out until January. When the boys were born I no longer tolerated it.
To a doctor he went. And a therapist. SURPRISE! They diagnosed him with depression. They knew that much of it had to do with the stress of the holidays and memories of childhood (I had told him this, but I don’t have fifteen diplomas on my wall, so I didn’t count). He began medicine. It’s been two years. And what do you know! I STILL LIKE HIM! Last year he was actually functional at Christmas, he only had one minor tantrum about not going to his sister’s and wanting to forget it was Christmas Day and just go to Tennessee for a week. Nice try, dear. This year? He’s putting CHRISTMAS MUSIC ON and asking me what shopping I need to do or have to do. He’s giving me ideas for the kids.
Either this treatment stuff worked or my husband has been brain washed by aliens. Or he’s been sniffing airplane glue.