It’s been a month now since the winter solstice, and already I’m feeling a lot better. I’m just not one who handles the dark side of the seasons all that well. Combine it with illnesses and deaths of several friends and it’s enough for me to pull my head firmly back inside my shell to wait for spring.

It’s an odd juxtaposition. I’d wager that no one I know loves Christmas more than I do, and yet I often feel periods of sadness and loneliness during the holidays.

As I wrote last fall, it “could be” a bona fide case of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or, as I’m admitting now, it “could be” that all my life my expectations have fallen fall short of even the lowest bar.

I’m the gal who delights in all the lights, the carols, the ribbons and wrappings. And yet throughout my adult life, despite decorating my home to the hilt and inviting everyone I know to come celebrate the season with me, I’ve never experienced the Christmas I longed to have.

I wonder why that is?

Over the years I’ve pondered quite a few possibilities, but I guess it’s destined to remain a mystery. Perhaps I was just born a few decades too late for all the joyous folderal I crave. Perhaps others have either lost or “outgrown” their ability to enjoy happy and fun “mature” play dates.

I’d really love to spend the season dressing up in sparkly duds and going from party to party, but I’m the only one I know who continues to throw lavish get-togethers. Last year was number 30 for my annual bash, and every year, while cleaning up the aftermath, I wonder if there will be another. Will I, too, give in to predominant Grinchhood?

Not likely. Already in my bones I can feel the days getting longer, and with that comes the return of my generally optimistic and sunny attitude. Perhaps we should counterbalance SAD with “HAPPY,” which could encourage us to have a “Hopeful and Particularly Positive Year,” despite the light and dark of it.