This is my favorite time of the year. I love the magic of the holidays. People seem nicer. Well, MOST people seem nicer. I run into a lot of really stressed-out, bah humbug kind of people in my neighborhood, but on the whole, most people seem to be chilling out more at this time of the year. Maybe it's just the judicious application of eggnog, but better moods abound.
Once Thanksgiving is over, the holidays are fast upon us. On Tuesday, November 28th, I celebrate 14 years of marriage to Juggling Freak, a fact which astonishes me. (I thought he'd have wised up LONG before now!) Juggling Freak is widely known, however, to be not quite right in the head. After all, he married me, didn't he? And on purpose as well! There's no accounting for taste with some people, apparently.
As soon as the calendar officially switches to December, I am able to forgo the Christmas embargo that Juggling Freak imposes every year. I am not allowed to drag out all the assorted Christmas accoutrement until December makes its appearance -- otherwise, JF asserts that I'd have Santas and reindeer dotting our house in late July. (Some people are SO grinchy about the holidays! Sheesh.) I drag out all the ornaments, including all the handmade ones from both my own childhood, and the ones from Offspring's. I lovingly place upon the tree the ornaments that my grandmother brought over from Germany, and the Disney ornaments that we hold so dear. My husband proudly hangs his squeaky Christmas octopus, given to him long ago by a friend who ran a Mexican restaurant. I find a place of pride for the items that Offspring has made, each one reminding me of her during Christmases past. I take delight in shining up my Queen Elizabeth I ornament until it blazes in all of its brass glory. I smooth the penguin tree skirt that I made several years ago around the base of the tree, and there begin the pile of gifts that will accumulate like drifts of snow that we southerners have never been fortunate enough to see.
We bake cookies, and wrap gifts. We shop for the perfect presents, and imagine the delight on the recipient's face as each box produces ooohs and aahhhhs. I sit in the glow of the tree at night, and savor the calm that I feel. Christmas may have become a mass-produced holiday, and may bring out the crass consumer in a lot of people, but for me, it brings the sweet and serene feeling that I am where I should be, with people I love, and Thank You, God -- I am so glad to be here.