I have been accused of being somewhat of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas. That is completely untrue. I like Christmas. Really. I pinkie swear. Even if I may grumble about the overspending. And the crowds. And the materialism. And the heartburn. And the party/potluck circus. I don’t know where folks got the impression I don’t like Christmas. Unless it was the fact that I didn’t put up a Christmas tree year before last. Or that the 2006 tree was a skinny prelit number I propped up in a corner right before the big day and spent about fifteen minutes decorating. Or that I quit putting up our outdoor lights. Or that I spent a total of about three hours shopping for presents last year. Come on, guys. Just because a gal doesn’t wear jingle bell earrings and a Santa sweater from Thanksgiving until December 25th doesn’t mean she doesn’t like Christmas. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a yuletide junkie, but I have Christmas spirit. It’s just shy. It doesn’t like to come out of hibernation until around December 20th.
I haven’t always been this way. I used to get really revved up this time of year. I think the death of my nephew in 2000 took the wind out of my ho, ho, ho. He used to spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning at our house, and his absence looms large this time of year. Also, all of our extra obligations during the season started to spin out of control. We could hardly keep up. I felt like a train had mowed me down by the time the holidays were over. Two years ago I started to push back. I didn’t have any choice. It was either that or collapse because in 2005 Papa T. had eye surgery in late November and required a lot of after care. In 2006 we were in the midst of a remodeling project and spent the weeks before Christmas sleeping on a mattress on our dressing room floor. I went into self preservation mode, started saying no and caught a lot of grief over it. Finally, I’m ready to dip my toe in the yuletide waters again and am wading in slowly. Even though I would gladly settle on just a Christmas eve church service, dinner with family and no gifts, I will jingle my bells a little bit this year.
I put up a tree on the day after Thanksgiving. The big one, not the skinny one Teen Angel called a weed. I put a few decorations around the house, and I’ve stirred up a bread starter I will use to make bread for the neighbors. I loaded Christmas music into my iPod last weekend, and I have purchased three gifts. My first holiday party is tonight. And just to show that I’m not a Scrooge, here’s a little gift for you. Thanks to the good folks at Office Max, you can hit this link and watch me shake my booty in an elf suit. When it’s over you can paste your own face in it. Ha! There you go. Merry Christmas, dang it. Ho, ho, ho and jingle all the way. Now, go Elf Yourself while I cook some cocktail wieners for party #1.
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