Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Motherhood and more: The good things of Christmas may come early

I admit it.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music for at least the past three weeks, much to my husband’s irritation. I mean, it’s not like it’s on all the time, and it’s only in the car when he’s not riding with me. But still. He knows and is therefore sufficiently bothered.

And yet, I don’t care.

It’s not like I glossed over or forgot about Thanksgiving. It’s still my second favorite holiday, mainly because there’s almost no preparation you have to do other than food-related and making sure you discuss with your kids what it means to be thankful. And it’s always just so comfortable, you know? A whole day of visiting with family and eating is my idea of a perfect day. There’s no expectation, other than that you show up early to help cut up fruit for the fruit salad or stir the gravy and set the table.

I love it, and this year was no different.

But when radio stations started playing Christmas music after Halloween, I resisted as long as I could. I knew I was supposed to wait, that I was supposed to be perturbed at the early date that people start celebrating the holidays. It’s just that it makes me so happy. It brings back all of the nostalgic memories of growing up when my parent’s would move our giant, heavy heater away from the non-working fireplace so Santa could get into our house, or that time when we had family over and it snowed and was so cold that we went ice skating on the pond. Or when, as a teenager, I played guitar every Christmas Eve Mass, or every Christmas get-together that included too many people in too small of a house, but where no one would change a thing.

And my son is so, so excited about everything this year. He’s trying extra hard to be good, which really isn’t that difficult for him anyway, these days. And he was insistent that we decorate the house this past weekend because it was time. I agreed. And where do you think all of his holiday excitement comes from, anyway?
And so maybe it was for him that I turned the dial to the Christmas station. Or maybe it was for me and the peace and happiness I get when I listen to songs that I’ve listened to every year for as long as I can remember.

I used to be a strong proponent of not losing sight of Thanksgiving, of celebrating one holiday at a time and I still am to an extent. I hate the commercialization of everything and how stores start shoving giant blow-up snowmen at us in mid-October. And I dislike how much shopping happens on Thanksgiving night, when everyone knows you’re supposed to be passed out in a turkey and pie-induced coma on the couch.
But that doesn’t stop me from cranking the sound up when I hear Sting’s version of "I Saw Three Ships," or "O, Holy Night," which never fails to move me.

However, I will never, ever enjoy "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

That’s just good taste.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on November 28, 2012. 

(I also realized I never shared my last Kentucky At Home stories with you.  You can find them here.)

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