Ok, so it is the half-way point in November. But, my friends, I have gotten an early jump on the impending holiday season. And I am a-ok with it.
I usually bemoan The Christmas Creep. You know it: Christmas decorations making a full-force come on in October (before Halloween?! yes), the radio stations playing ONLY Christmas tunes starting on November first, and–worst of all (to me)–Hallmark Channel’s refusal to play anything other than nauseating Christmas garbage…edging out my beloved Frasier and Golden Girls (devoid of salty language, though they may be).
But this year, in my frozen pit of doom that I’m wallowing in, I’m embracing it. Bring on the Christmas decorations at Lowes! Bring on the Christmas Pandora station! Bring on
the Christmas movies Love, Actually! I’m looking forward to the holiday season this year because it will be joyous and merry and bright, regardless of everything else going on in this world. It’s the one time of year when people are, whether they like it or not, expected to be jolly and cheery and loving, and dammit, I expect that, so bring. it. on.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have started my Christmas shopping. In fact, I have almost obliterated my shopping list. I grant you, it is not a long and complicated list: we buy tangible gifts for our parents, Nana, and some siblings, our niece and nephew (the most fun to buy for, of course!), and some close friends. Everyone else gets a hug and a card and a bottle of something boozy if we remember. We buy only one or two things for one another, and we fill each other’s stocking. We buy gifts for the pups…though those are usually eaten or destroyed immediately (oh, terriers). We don’t expect lavish gifts, and we don’t give them. We like thoughtful and meaningful gifts for our loved ones, and practical and useful gifts for each other. Two years in a row, we bought ourselves (together) floor cleaning appliances. No regrets, yo.
This year is no different.
The best part is that we typically decide what we’ll get for folks early on–usually September/Octoberish–then start slowly accumulating. It’s super easy. See, once upon a time, a few nerds invented this thing that makes holiday shopping painless. The Internet.
It’s not only helped me do a ton of shopping already, but I’ve ordered our holiday greeting cards, too. I love sending cards, but–and this sounds awful–I hate hand writing the greetings each year (we have a biggggg pool of card recipients!), so I sprang for the customized printed cards (no awkward photo of just us, or just our dogs…), and that is that. I can handle addressing the envelopes.
Today, I made the invitations for our now-annual Holiday Open House gathering. Easy peasy. Seriously. They look great, but were simple and painless and they only took me a few choruses of Mele Kalikimaka and All I Want For Christmas Is You to crank out. Of course, I’m not actually done with them yet (erm…minor detail), but that requires a trip to my printer (all the way upstairs, ugh) and some glue dots, so not too bad.
It occurs to me, of course, that I haven’t thought too much about Thanksgiving, but that’s the beauty of Thanksgiving. If you are not hosting the dinner, and you have your marching orders for what you will contribute to the dinner(s) you are attending, you are done. Sit back, enjoy a glass (or 11) of wine, and offer your help to the hostess/stay out of her way if she tells you to. Well, that’s been my M.O. for a while, at least.
Next weekend, I can probably finish my shopping. Place a few more orders, visit a few more local shops, and stow it all away to be remembered around December 20th. I’ll send out my party invites and holiday cards around Thanksgiving–late this year, huh?!–and enjoy the rest of the season as it should be: next to a fire, with the ones you love, drinking.