There's less than three weeks until Christmas, but don't panic.
Those who've known me a long time can attest to the fact that I used to be this huge geeky Christmas person. I work silly socks or earrings shaped like red light bulbs; you get the idea. Christmas carols played Thanksgiving evening until the afternoon of the 25th. I loved to pick out presents for friends and family. Bring on the lights, trees, eggnog, I would soak it all into my pores and exude Christmas spirit to everyone within a ten foot radius. Tree lightings were just below a presidential inauguration.
Then I got tired. I let it turn into a chore. Crap, I think I even wrote about this once already. Damn I hate when I repeat myself. But it's so much easier to feel the magic without life's day to day responsibilities creating static interference. With so much to do, I stopped listening.
I finally found my Christmas spirit this year. But, I'm afraid I might have stuck it in a pile of papers on my kitchen counter and I won't find it until after January, along with expired coupons from Express for free panties and homework my six year old was supposed to do before Christmas. That would really bum me out, because it felt really good for the day or so I had it. It was the night I watched Charlie Brown. The next day I had words to write in my head. Carols made me smile. I made my car dance as Mariah sang "All I want for Christmas is You". I mentally decorated my house in my head---minimally mind you, keeping in mind things are busy. I wanted to rent every Christmas special and movie with my kids to share the magic with them.
Ok- here's a not that random tangent: What was it about those shows that made such an impact at the holidays? Because that is really part of it. I grew up without DVDs DVRs or On Demand. If you wanted to see "March of the Wooden Soldiers" or "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" you had to wait 12 months and check the TV Guide come Thanksgiving and every week after to see when then would be on. Much like a precious gem or first edition book, limited availability increases it value. When you can watch Charlie Brown's Christmas in the middle of June it somehow detracts from its significance. I think I fell into step with our instant gratification society, and lost one of my symbols of the season. I could own all the Christmas music I wanted at the touch of a button, there was no need to listen to WPLJ 24/7 to catch John Lennon's "So This is Christmas" or barking Jingle Dogs.
Call it nostalgia, but I think it's more. Growing up doesn't have to sap your spirit. I may not be able to play hooky and go sing at a tree lighting, but I can impart this joy upon my children---my whole family. I can make sure Christmas is a special time of year for them, with all the things I loved. Maybe someday they will love special carols because they remember their mom dancing around the house while she hung garland.
I got my nails done this morning, and got a little holly and a tree painted on them. It will keep me smiling all day. Tonight I get to go Christmas shopping with a dear friend. Maybe I'll but some goofy light bulb earrings. :)