I have a confession to make: I was listening to Christmas music with Sid two days ago. Yes, 10 days before Halloween. What is wrong with me?
Now, if you know me, you know Christmas is a big deal in my family, I love Christmas, my brother loves Christmas. When he and I lived together, our combined enthusiasm for holiday decorations, food, activities, events, movies, and songs could be seen from space.
It stems from our parents. Dad was always in charge of getting the lights on the house–just right–and cutting down our Christmas tree. My mother, in addition to sewing and crafting and cooking all kinds of holiday goodies for us, spent hundreds of hours making hand-sculpted and -painted dough art ornaments that she would sell. Each year was different: clowns with little pleated ribbon ruffs! Baby Jesus in a walnut-shell manger! Teddy bears wearing little diapers (with tiny safety pins!) seated on baby blocks holding tiny hearts bearing impossibly small, hand-painted sayings!
Now you see where my obsessive nature comes from.
I grew up in the ’80s, in a neighborhood where a lot of the moms still stayed home (including mine) and organized huge undertakings like a babysitting co-op and sharing a fruit dehydrator (before they discovered their children would not eat banana chips, because barf). The big yearly event was a Christmas bazaar that would be held in a different home each year.
I still remember the magical year when we hosted the holiday bazaar, which still stands out in my memory as the best Christmas ever. Our house, always clean, was scoured and rearranged into a picture of holiday perfection never achieved before or since. Fudge for sale in the kitchen (I will only eat fudge at Christmas, and it must be my mother’s). Handmade stuffed animals in the living room. And best of all: jewelry in my room. The display included a special holiday-scented votive candle that made my room smell amazing, and my desk was cleared to make room for those little velvet neck display things, where some truly monumental hand-beaded monstrosities were shown to their best advantage.
But still! While I love Christmas, I do try to restrain myself until the day after Thanksgiving! Except the year my brother surprised me with Christmas bathroom (he put a Santa cover on the toilet, people). But when Sid and I went to Home Depot Wednesday, we were seduced by the garish and amazing Christmas displays. We started talking about why Christmas is such a big holiday (my three points to Sid: 1. retailers make lots of money on it, 2. it’s the most important religious holiday of the most prominent religion in our country, and 3. people like to relive happy holiday memories with their friends and family), I accidentally drove us to Vancouver, WA (missing all the exits to Portland on I-205), and then. When we got home. I turned on my “Baby it’s Cold Outside” Pandora station. Just for like an hour.
It’s cool. We can stop whenever we want! I just used AirPlay on my phone to show Sid me and my brother’s favorite local Christmas commercials, from the now-defunct PayLess Drugs. That’s not a problem. Right?