Where Exactly Is Yesteryear and How Do I Get There?

Raise your hand if you went to a holiday party this weekend. Now raise your other hand if you wish you had stayed home on your couch watching Netflix instead.
Me too!
Oh, except that’s exactly what I did.
In a former life I loved holiday parties. I loved work holiday parties that started in a nice restaurant at noon and ended at midnight at a local bar, everyone rosy cheeked and a bit disheveled. I loved seeing my colleagues dressed up, having a drink, and letting their non-work personality make an appearance for a bit. Plus the workplace gossip was as free flowing as the beer and wine.
My friends used to throw great parties around the holidays too. I remember cookie exchanges and eggnog that was carefully cured for seven days, ready just in time for guests to arrive. We had mistletoe and decorations and presents. It was lovely.
But times have changed and my life has changed and holiday parties feel like muss and fuss instead of joy and good cheer.
Oh, and also, I didn’t get invited to any. Did I forget to mention that?
It’s true. Holiday parties haven’t been part of my life for a few years. I work remotely and my company hosts holiday parties at our office locations. Since I don’t work anywhere near them, I’m not invited. And I’m sure my friends are having great parties again this year but I don’t live near my friends anymore so, no parties for me.
Parties are lost in yesteryear. They are hanging out with my Care Bears and my friends from high school. They are dancing with my grandmother and drinking scotch with my grandfather.
The holidays always have me longing for yesteryear. Where exactly is yesteryear and how can I get there? Sometimes I think if I close my eyes, and wish hard enough, when I open them I’ll be there, making cookies with my grandfather again.

Christmas for me often feels more like Christmuss. Yes, you read that right. Do you know what muss means? I wasn’t exactly sure so I looked it up. I’ve never really used the word except for my occasional uttering of a jaunty, “No muss, no fuss!”
Anyway, it means, “a state of disorder.”
Whoa nelly, if that doesn’t sum up December and basically all of 2017 I don’t know what does. But it’s my emotions that really get mussed this time of year.
Instead of crashing holiday parties, I’m hiding on my couch, under my blanket, with a fun beverage, my fuzzy dog, and maybe a holiday movie or two. That’s basically what I did last year and you know what? It worked for me.
You see, yesteryear is a place you can only visit in your memory. The trip there and back is always bittersweet. Sometimes it’s not easy to think about the days gone by, the loved ones we’ve lost, the memories of being young, the days we’ll never repeat. Yesteryear can be a place of great joy and great grief, that’s why a round trip is mandatory. We shouldn’t stay in the past but our present just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t visit occasionally.
If you’re feeling messy and mussy about the holidays, I’m with you. Holidays have never lived up to my unrealistic expectations, but I’m a sucker for bittersweet memories. When I’m lost in the mess and the muss, home instead of partying, snoring instead of caroling, I’m going to wax nostalgic for yesteryear from the comfort of my living room. Grab a blanket and join me. After all, it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesteryear.



  1. Beth on December 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I definitely feel that nostalgic pull at this time of year and remembering Christmases past. I think you are right that it’s only natural to visit those times in our life, I think it does help us in the present too.

  2. Erinn on December 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    So I haven’t gone to my holiday work party in years…I just have no interest in spending more time with people I spend all day with at work!
    Do you and your husband have any Christmas traditions?

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 18, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Good point! I used to love work parties but colleagues do spend an awful lot of time together!

      We don’t really have any traditions yet because every Christmas we’ve spent together has been different.

  3. Debra on December 18, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I really enjoy my husband’s work Christmas party. They do a really great job of personalizing the event- even still calling it a Christmas party. The owner even says a prayer before we begin eating. He does state at the beginning of his announcement that he is Christian not meaning to disrespect other religions, he just wants to wish us a Merry Christmas and goodwill as it means to him. After eating, a gift game for the employees is a joy to watch. It’s been a different game over the years. And finally at the end of the party, gifts are passed out to each of the spouse/guest of the employee.

    Of course, there is drinking, food and wonderful company! Now New Year’s is a different story. I stay home, curled up on the couch watching Netflix. Safer and warmer!

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      That sounds like a lot of fun! And I completely forgot about New Year’s Eve!

  4. Akaleistar on December 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Christmuss about sums it up, doesn’t it?

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Yes, especially this year!

  5. Maureen on December 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I feel like this time of year is full of traditions that bring back all the memories. Sometimes I’m a fan of Christmas parties but other times, I find I feel that I have to go and not actually want to be there. My company has a holiday lunch instead of a party so that’ perfect for me. Get a yummy lunch and not have to spend time outside of work on it!

  6. Lisa Guido on December 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Interesting take on expectations and moving away from the past. I definitely struggle with living in the past, and it’s wasting the time I have now!

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      You are so right Lisa. It is wasting the time we have now when we can be having new experience and making new memories. Though, sometimes it’s wasting time and sometimes it’s using time. I don’t want to forget my life’s history but I don’t want to dwell on it either.

  7. ShootingStarsMag on December 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I think this time of the year is a bit of a mess of emotions; at least for me. I’m sorry you aren’t able to celebrate with friends and co-workers – but it’s also good to have new traditions and ways of “celebrating” that work for you too.


  8. Gingi on December 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    This year hasn’t felt like Christmas to me, and it has been making my heart ache! I think we have a tendency to put too much pressure on ourselves with expectations that are just unrealistic.. maybe? – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      My heart aches that your heart is aching! Yes we put way too much pressure on ourselves, especially this time of year.

  9. Charlotte on December 20, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I love this, and I understand this. More so this year than in years past, and I’m not sure why that is, since I’ve worked remotely for a few years now and did actually attend a holiday party with my coworkers this year (thankfully very early in the season), it’s still… mussy πŸ™‚ I’m sure that’s not a word, but I dig it anyway. I feel so overwhelmed this year by the season and the cold and the darkness, and truthfully there are so many nights I’d much rather stay in with my boys and drink wine and watch cheery holiday movies, too. Le sigh. Anyway, you know what I realized? No one else is living our life, and we have to do what works for us, guilt begone! I long for yesteryear, too, but I’d much rather don my pajamas than get dressed up any day.

    I love that pic of you and your grandpop <3 So sweet! XOXO and wishing you all the best for the season!

  10. Lisa | Simple Life Experiment on December 21, 2017 at 3:19 am

    I love the nostalgic feel of this post, Courtney. I’m a very wistful person so this is SO me. Holidays and Christmas used to be a big deal when I was growing up, and it truly felt like magic. Ironically, I’m totally over it now and couldn’t be any more anti-Christmas if I tried. I avoid the shops because it’s just way too overwhelming there and I refuse to give or receive presents. Take me back to the days when life was easy and the world seemed like a simple, straightforward kind of place! Reading that you’re hiding on your couch brings a smile to my face because that is me through and through these holidays too. All I need is a good book and a really cold drink (it’s sweltering over here) and I’m good to go!

    • Courtney A. Casto on December 21, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Wistful is the right word and one I did not think to use! I’m not anti-Christmas but my favorite part about it these days is how work slows down and I get time off.

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