It’s that time of year again. The stores have started an endless round of Christmas carols and the streets in town are lined with lighted wreaths. In the evening — which comes earlier and earlier — there are brightly-colored bushes and trees and roofs. Where never before a personality, suddenly a pop-up Santa and a snow globe rocking horse.

The pressure’s on and the countdown has begun.

I’ve made my list, and I’ve checked it twice to make sure I’ve accounted for the many people we buy gifts for. I’ve marked catalogs and purchased gift cards and come up with some pretty snazzy photo gifts for grandparents.

I’m left, in the beginning days of Advent, wishing it were all over. I’m wondering, as we prepare for the joy of the season, where the joy can be found. I’m tired, on only the second day, and wondering if I could leave the country and return on January 2nd.

Every year, I battle Bah-Humbug. I find it in the discussion about when we’re going to put up decorations and in the struggle to not see Advent as just the time to get all the details lined up. I am surrounded by it in the juggle to buy gifts for people I’d like to just spend time with instead. I grow weary, and it infects me when I’m not looking, filling me with resentment and memories and a longing.

The rest is over at Catholic Exchange.