Well, it’s Christmas…I mean December…wait, no, it’s the very first day of November. Well, really, what’s the difference?
For lots of people, there isn’t a difference.
Many think that the passing of Halloween is the starting gun for Santa and his wee little helpers to commence the construction of toys for all the good boys and girls. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on October 31st, Christmas records are spinning, icicle lights are lighting, ornaments are ornamenting, and eggnog is nogging. Tis the season, after all. Seems like I should be having a warm mug of nog and eating a cookie or two.
But why is it that most of us look so far down the snowy road? Why is it that people start the merry celebration a full two months in advance? What’s the cause of this Christmas anxiety? Why do we seem to forget little old Thanksgiving? Is it the cookies? The nog, perhaps?
Maybe it’s because of the Christmas flare. You know, all the decorations and stuff? That could be it. People like putting things up in their house to make it look all fancy-schmancy. You get to decorate a tree with a bunch of shiny ornaments. You get to hang lights on the bushes outside of your house. That’s pretty cool, right? That could make people look forward to Christmas. All the things that make Christmas so pretty. Maybe that’s it.
Or maybe it’s because of the music. Everyone seems to love Christmas music. All the classics performed by the greats like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Those are terrific songs. Everyone likes to sing Christmas carols. It’s damn near impossible not join in on the chorus of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” whenever you hear it. Maybe the music is what makes people so antsy.
There’s always fruitcake…
…it’s probably not because of fruitcake…
I know. It’s because of the presents. Everyone likes to get a good gift, right? And on Christmas you get a whole bunch of em. That’s pretty awesome. Who doesn’t like that? You wake up and all this new stuff has magically appeared under a tree in your living room. Sounds like the best day ever. You get some new clothes, maybe a new guitar, a toy or two, and you don’t have to spend a cent. All the stuff you’ve been wanting all year and you didn’t even have to go buy it. That’s definitely it. People look forward to Christmas so much because they want their presents.
Do people get excited for Christmas for any of these reasons? Yeah, maybe. Different people look forward to Christmas for one or all of these reasons. It varies, I suppose.
But, personally, I don’t think any of the things that I’ve listed are particularly good reasons to be so excited about Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas songs, decorating the tree, and getting a Christmas sweater as much as the next guy. But these are just things that come along with Christmas. These aren’t the reason why it’s such a great time of year.
I know, you’ve heard this before; Christmas is about being with your family, friends, and loved ones. That idea has been taught to us since we were little. And when we heard this as little kids, we were like, “Yeah, I know. Now hand me the one with the big red bow.” Don’t even try to deny it. As youngsters, we were rabid for presents. Them’s the facts.
But, as I get older, I’m learning to appreciate this idea of friends and family more and more. The whole growing up process really puts things in perspective.
I’m getting older, I don’t see your friends as much, you go home less and less, and the time that I spend with my family is growing smaller and smaller. As these things start to happen, Christmas takes on a new definition. As I grow up, I’m starting to value Christmas for what it really is: A time to enjoy the company of the people who make me happy.
For me, you can take away all that other stuff. The decorations, the songs, the gifts, and, yes, even the nog, and there’s still something to look forward to. There’s still something to get excited about after you take off your Halloween costume. There’s still a reason to have Christmas in mind even though it’s not the right month.
As someone who’s rapidly becoming old and crusty, let me offer you a some advice; learn to appreciate any time that you spend with your family, whether that be a summer vacation or a Christmas morning. Believe it or not, those experiences don’t last forever. You only have so much time to spend with your family. Don’t waste it begging for presents.
So, go and be merry even though Christmas is still far in the distance. But just remember that, though really cool, lights, music, and presents aren’t really what it’s all about.