I’m Christmas Crazy and I Won’t Apologize For It

Every year I approach the Christmas season with all the exuberance of a five year old girl with twinkling eyes, rosy cheeks, and pigtails. My smile is three sizes too big. I am Cindy Lou in the flesh. In October.

Every year, I have to justify my desire to start the festivities early. But this year is different. This year, I am not apologizing or hiding my Christmas love under a basket. Yep, it’s November 6 and I’ve been celebrating Christmas for about two weeks now. Deal with it.

I try mightily to contain my Christmas enthusiasm until we get closer to Thanksgiving. Apparently, there are holiday time frame rules that I was not taught as a child. October is for Halloween, November is for Thanksgiving, December is for Christmas. Whatever. I’m a rebel. The world needs more Christmas and I’ll start my celebrations whenever I want. This is America, dammit. If you don’t want to put up your tree or shop until Christmas Eve, then by all means, wait. I won’t chide you for not taking full advantage of the joy and love and excitement of the season. Why do you chide me for basking in it?

Here’s why I like starting my Christmas celebrations before Oct. 31. Because it’s the best holiday. EVER. It’s beautiful. Everywhere you look, there are lights and tinsel and gold and silver and beautiful cookies topped with sparkling sugar and beautiful songs and did I mention LIGHTS. People smile and wish each other happy tidings, and joy and peace reign. The world seems bright. Everything is possible. Perfect strangers buy hundreds of dollars of toys and dress up in ridiculous padded furry costumes to make sure that little kids they’ve never met know they are loved by Santa. People who never leave their homes any other time of year cart boxes of canned goods to the food pantry or write checks to their local church make sure that no family goes without a decent holiday meal. People at my church literally crawl over each other to take a tag from the Giving Tree, and spend hours searching for and wrapping the perfect gift for a family they’ll never meet. They stand in the cold and snow and freezing rain, dressed only in period costumes, to reenact the nativity scene live for hundreds of people who pass by in their warm cars. They’ve been doing this for more than thirty years. That’s magic, people. Can you name any other time of year when real magic is alive and well and everywhere you look??

I start prepping for Christmas early because it is a lot of work. But not real work like dusting or cleaning out the garage. Christmas chores are fun. There are gifts to buy. Those gifts need to be wrapped. There are dozens of varieties of cookies to bake. There are songs to sing and Christmas plays and concerts and ballets to attend. There is decorating to do! There are parties to attend and to throw. There are cards to send. And by the way, why did so many people stop sending cards? Do you think you are any busier than your grandparents? You don’t have to make your own butter or walk three miles in the snow to get groceries. Send some damn cards!
Now, excuse me while I pull up my Christmas music station on Pandora and continue to work through my Christmas list. I’ve got some online Christmas shopping to do this weekend.