My house is now Christmas-ified. I am exhausted, but quite pleased with myself. I was exceptionally efficient and I have now caught up to the masses. Sort of.
As other blogging buddies have already noted (hi Hannah!), there seems to have been more of rush this year to start the Christmas season. Some of my neighbours had their outdoor lights up – and lit! – around Remembrance Day. Many of my friends and work colleagues have had their trees up for two or three weeks already. Some of them have already finished their gift shopping, and everyone seems to be discussing their plans for the holidays. I’ve been to three Christmas social events already, and they were all in November.
What’s the big hurry anyway? Yes, the Christmas season is relatively short, but why are we in such a panic to finish it off before it’s really begun? Who decided that ordinary people like me need to start prepping for Christmas in mid-November? Are we that susceptible to the media and consumerism? It’s so easy to feel completely inadequate when everyone around you seems to be all ready for Christmas by December 1st: outdoor lights up, house and tree decorated, baking done, gifts bought and wrapped, turkey and trimmings purchased, etc.
Well, I got tired of that feeling. And it’s December now, so it’s time. Last evening, I hauled up my boxes of Christmas stuff from the garage. I spent two or three hours putting away my regular year-round knick-knacks and replaced them with Christmas decorations. I minimized, though. Instead of the entire nativity scene with about thirty damn animals on my fireplace mantle, I only put out Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. Oh, and a pretty wooden star that DD made at school when she was seven or eight.
The next day, I hung all my outdoor lights. It actually didn’t take too long, as I already had most of the clips in place. I also now own a ladder, so that helped tremendously with the higher places like the balcony roof and the top of the garage. (That also helped tremendously to control my fear of heights. Who knew a ladder could be so useful?)
Once that was done, I got the tree into the living room with DD’s help, then I put it together, then I decorated it. That’s always the most pleasurable part for me, since I play schmaltzy Christmas music (Yes, I sing along. Loudly.) and sip rum and eggnog. It’s kind of a ritual, right down to doing it by myself. DD used to hover around, trying to help, but I have always shooed her away. I just enjoy doing the tree so much that she now just vacates the room and leaves me be.
When that was completed to my satisfaction, I even sat down and burned four Christmas CDs for my mom. She’s just bought her first CD player (uh – Mom? We have these things called iPods now. Have you heard of them?) and called to ask us to make her some of “those CD thingies” from our Christmas music selection. And by getting that CD player, she’s also just deprived us of a great Christmas gift idea for her. Again. She may just end up with a bottle of her favourite beverage for Christmas. Again.
So there it is. My house is ready for Christmas. Am I, though? No. Absolutely no baking has yet been done (another time-honoured ritual chez pinkea), only one present and a couple of stocking stuffers have been bought, and the rest of the required presents are not yet even a glimmer of an idea in my head.
But you know what? I don’t really care a whole lot about all that. I love the Christmas season, and when my house is decorated, I’m happy. The rest of it will somehow all come together at my own pace. It always does.
Now it’s time for yet another of my Christmas rituals: I’m going to go turn the lights on my tree and lay underneath it and look up and have a good think.