. : It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas : .


Thanksgiving is over; let the Christmas season begin.

If you agree with the above statement, then you probably belong to the dying breed of individuals who believe that October is too early for Christmas.  Sound familiar?

You have ever found yourself offended by the appearance of Christmas merchandise just after Halloween, thereby shortening Fall in favor of a prolonged Winter season (isn't it enough that the Winter cold will last through February or March?) Christmas music grates upon your nerves.  It appears you are the only person on earth who understands that the "season to be jolly" mustn't begin until the day after Thanksgiving.  Your entire city is afloat with twinkle lights, wreaths, and inflatable yard decor (which I personally find distasteful even in December.  Who exactly came up with the big idea to have car-size plastic Santa's and reindeer with colorful balls and flashing lights on their rooftops?  Aren't their kids going to wonder where the "real" Santa will park his own sleigh if the entire house is overrun with fake Santa's?)  You find you cannot walk through town without closing your eyes, covering your ears, and bumping into large objects.  

But that's beside the point.  The point, simply put, is this: Whatever happened to the celebration of Fall? 

That being said (it's an annual rant for me), I've got no problem with beginning Christmas on Black Friday.  In fact, for those of us who are terrified to venture into the open on a day specifically designed to promote insanity, materialism, and bumper-to-bumper traffic, it's the perfect day to begin Christmas.  Take a hike, pick a tree, haul it home, and shake it loose (assuming you're not a fake tree kind of person - in which case, read my previous blog post entitled Only Communists Buy Fake Trees).  You'll spend the remainder of the day wrestling with the twinkle lights, unearthing the funky ornaments, and listening to Old Blue Eyes.  If you make it a family tradition, like my family has, it becomes a top-notch excuse to avoid the madness.

Of course, my family has long since traded visits to the Christmas tree farm in favor of the cheaper option: Home Depot.  Aside from the innate satisfaction of chopping down your own tree, you can't beat a seven-foot spruce, cut and bound, for only $29.99.   So we make a day of it.  No really, the Home Depot employees hate us.  One by one, we each pick a tree and then stand there, laughing, while everybody else points out what's wrong with it.  It's too tall.  It's too thin.  It's got a hole.  We like 'em short and fat.  We like them pear-shaped.  We like a twisted top (to hold up the red-headed stuffed angel, you understand).  It is only by way of the slow, grueling process of elimination that we finally pick our tree, and, like today, the one unfortunate employee left standing in the cold frantically drags it over to the netting-machine (do those things have a name?), pushes it through, and then yells, "This one belongs to the family with the twelve kids!"  (There aren't actually twelve of us kids.  Just ten.)

And then we head home, make a big pot of coffee, re-string the lights about five or six times, and get out the six gallon buckets filled with nut-crackers (we have quite the collection), snow globes, nativity sets in various stages of depletion, and ornaments wrapped in toilet paper.  We're quite proud of our ornament collection.  It's mostly mismatched, hand-made, old, broken, gifted, and/or head-scratchers (why do manufacturers assume that if you put wings on something - monkeys, zebras, telephones - it will automatically make a good ornament?)  Our favorites go on top, to keep them safe; our least favorites go in the back, because nobody looks there anyway.  Mom feeds the tree Sprite, and then we play games and take a whack at our ever-increasing stack of officially-designated Christmas movies (it wouldn't be such a tall stack if we'd quit adding movies just because they have a turkey or snow in them).

But my favorite part is the music.  We listen to the old vinyls on our record-player because they rarely play the classics on the radio these days.  You know, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Barbara Streisand, Burl Ives, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Vicki Carr, and Engelbert Humperdinck (speaking of good old Engelbert, what on earth were his parents' thinking?)   Besides, there's nothing like the occasional pop of the skipping needle to make the evening feel just like an old Christmas movie.  No matter how many times up-and-coming musicians remake the old carols, they'll never quite match up to the originals.  Not to mention the newer versions are getting increasingly worse.  They're ruining Christmas (this is also an annual rant of mine, but I'll spare you the rest of it as it's rather long and tedious and I forget how it ends).

So there you go.  That's how we begin our Christmas season (mind you, we'll ease in a bit of Christmas elfing, eggnog, and sledding during December, but let's not forget it's still November for the next four days).  It's especially great to introduce these old traditions to Isaac.  They're all new to him. 

What are your holiday traditions?


  1. I always am one that doesn't start Christmas decorations and celebrating until after Thanksgiving! I think that we rush sometimes, and don't enjoy the present holiday in hand.

    I do love Christmas though!!

  2. Haha! We've got the same bad habit with the movies. Our "Christmas" Movies Box is getting a little overfull. It doesn't help that we have a lot of stinkin' movies as it is. ;P

    I enjoyed this post, Laur. Though I knew some of these traditions of your family's, some of them were news to me. ;)

  3. Thanks for good stuff

  4. А! I’ve meant to post about something like this on my webpage and you gave me an idea. Cheers.


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