To rain on my parade!!
For anyone who knows me, you know that Halloween is not my deal. I tolerate it because I like when the kids I substitute teach for find me answering the door and get all excited because they know me. Fall decor only lasts in my house from September 12th until October 31st. Because when the calendar strikes November 1st, it's officially Christmas in my world.
Before you get your knickers in a twist, hear me out. A million and a half years ago, back in October of 2020, my family, like many others, was sinking neck deep in the doldrums. Smiles were few. Laughs felt odd. We were a miserable bunch just going through the motions of life. My kids masked at school after a stunted previous school year. My husband taking heat for sticking up for his beliefs. And, me desperately trying to find a way to bring happiness back into our world.
Then I got an idea. A wonderful idea. A wonderfully, beautiful, exciting idea. Wringing my hands like a villian with a plot too good to pass up, I waited gleefully until everyone left for work and school. With Christmas music blaring loud enough for the neighbors to heard, in November 1st of 2020, I hauled out both Christmas trees and the endless totes of decorations and set to work. In the end, I was covered with glitter, had sore muscles and blisters, and I was deliriously happy. Those twinkling lights and sparkling tree branches did something to my spirit no amount of slapstick comedy could achieve. I felt happy. Truly, deep in my gut, smile until my face hurt, happy.
But, the true joy came as each person came home. Suddenly, my crabby high schooler was smiling a genuine smile. My morose middle schooler giggled and exclaimed in giddy abandon. My humbug hubby grinned wide enough to make the Grinch jealous! I'd done it! I had brought joy back into our lives when we were for all intents and purposes miserably unhappy.
Now, three years later, they can sense it coming. The anticipation of coming home knowing that in the span of a school day, mom and her imaginary team of highly skilled elves, will have taken our home from fall to a Christmas wonderland. And the smiles are worth the glitter in my hair and every sore muscle I go to bed with.
For me, and many like me, Christmas symbolizes happiness. It's the joy of all the hugs and happy greetings. Watching tiny human faces light up at the sight of twinkling lights. The smell of home cooked holiday meals. The memories of childhood resurfacing. The songs that are sung a hundred different ways and played on repeat for two solid months but we love them all the same. It's Bing Crosby crooning about that fluffy white menace turning Christmas into a winter fairytale. It's not about the gifts.
So, before you harass someone about Christmas needing to wait it's turn, or can we let each holiday have it time, think about the reason why that person is eagerly looking forward to the happiest season on the calendar. And for the record, my family happens to enjoy eating a Thanksgivng meal with twinkling Christmas lights in the background.