Thanksgiving, the gateway holiday to the Christmas season, has passed. No matter what holidays you celebrate, you will be hit over the head with Christmas until it passes. I actually started having nightmares about the upcoming holiday season as far back as July (I guess it was my own personal version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”). I would awaken with a start, with an overwhelming sense of dread. In my dreams, I had completely forgotten about Christmas! It was suddenly Christmas Eve and I hadn’t done a thing to prepare. There were no gifts, no tree, no lit up reindeer in my yard. Of course the reindeer fall over every day they are out there so it looks more like Christmas hunting season at my house.
How could something like this happen? Hallmark introduces ornaments in July, catalogs begin arriving with holiday gift guides as early as September, and Thanksgiving symbolizes giving thanks for Black Friday ads in order to plan shopping strategies with the fewest number of casualties. The mall is pulling out the decorations before the lights go out in the Halloween jack-o-lanterns.
I could go into the same complaints about the commercialism of the holidays, about how the meaning is lost amongst all of the tv ads, catalogs, and reminders to buy, buy, buy! But I’m not…because I love every minute of it! I become such a little kid at this time of year. I love buying just the right gifts for family and friends. I am comforted by the soft glow of the lights on the tree (well, at least until the cat turns the tree into her own playground and I have to dodge the flying ornaments). I sing along with every song on the radio, and my singing is so spectacular that even the animals leave the room. I’m sure the fish would leave also but he is stuck. Hopefully the water muffles the sound somewhat.
But then, when it is all over, I go through shock on December 26th. It’s like I need a 12-step program for Christmas withdrawal. The songs are over, the commercials have ended, and the stores are already squeezing Valentine’s Day merchandise onto the shelves. I hate to take down my decorations, I find it all very depressing to pack everything back up into the attic for the next 11 months (except for the tree – I’m ready for that to come down because the cat has already taken the decorations off and rolled them under the couch). As kids, my sisters and I would never let our parents try to put any of the presents away because that meant the magic was all over.
And that is what the holiday season is all about; the magic. I hope you and those you love enjoy the magic of the holiday season (just don’t forget about the mayhem altogether!).