Ready, set … Christmas!

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.


11 responses to “Ready, set … Christmas!

  1. Ha! I get later and later every year; but somehow get it all done. I can’t believe it’s only two weeks away and I still have so much to do. Good thing I only have a few days of work left. This weekend is baking time; shortbread and mincemeat tarts. I need the sugar to finish shopping!

  2. I really don’t get the rush either. It kinda cheapens the holidays, dontcha think?

    Anyways, I’ll probably be putting up our tree this weekend, which to me is around the ‘normal time’ to do that stuff.

  3. I’m sick of Christmas already and it’s not even here yet!
    I bought quite a lot of my gifts in November. Usually I wouldn’t start that early but I had to leave plenty of time for them to get to England. Decorations didn’t go up until December though!

    • bevchen – Fortunately, I don’t have to send any gifts far away, so I don’t have to shop early. (Not that I actually would have done, even if I had to, though …)

  4. I’ve got my outdoor lights up and that gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. Christmas shopping? What’s that? Oh yeah, right. Nope, haven’t done ‘any’ of that yet. My wife’s birthday is Dec. 3, so I felt accomplishment when I got that seen to. I suppose now she’ll want something for Christmas, too.

  5. I’ve grown kind of fond of the season, too, but mainly because I get to totally wind down for a couple of weeks.

  6. I put up the tree at the cottage last weekend – simply because I’m not sure when I would’ve been able to do it otherwise. And in town I don’t do a thing.

    When I was a kid my parents put up the tree on the 24th when we were in bed. Then they’d wake us for midnight mass and there was the tree and all the decorations. They must’ve worked like crazy to get everything set up. It was magic.

    As we grew older, we’d all put up the tree on the 24th in the afternoon and presents would be put under the tree only after we were in bed.

  7. I love sitting back and just enjoying the lightsand the glittering ornaments on the tree – though I have never lain under it. This would make me feel like a Christmas present.

    Do you make mincemeat tarts? I love those.

    • VioletSky – I have always loved lying under the Christmas tree, from the time I was very young. That’s probably why I still like to do it: it brings back wonderful Christmas memories. And no, no mincemeat tarts. My mom does those, and there’s no way I could hope to do it as well as she does, so I don’t even try.

      Jazz – I’ve always wondered what that would be like, to put up the tree on the 24th. For a kid, terrific! For an adult doing it, not so great, I’m thinking!

      XUP – A lot of my Christmas season is laying around, relaxing and doing nothing, too, simply because DD as a student and I as a teacher have always had two weeks off together, and almost everyone else doesn’t. Still, some day she’ll get a real job and may not have that time off with me. Some day …

      mrwriteon – I’ll go your lovely wife one better: my birthday is on December 23rd. And damn straight I want a birthday present AND a Christmas present too!