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  • Writer's picturejamespdesta

How is it Christmas Already?

Silver bells, silver bells How is it Christmas already? Spend a ton, then have fun, Soon it will be Christmas day

I was going to do the rest of the song, but then I realized that the actual song is really long and I felt like that was going to be a boondoggle.  Plus, I didn’t want it to seem like I don’t like Christmas, because I really do.  I love Christmas!  I love the music, and the food, and the smells, and I’m always appreciative when the cold keeps the bugs and pollen away (thanks, Tennessee Valley!). You know what I don’t love, though?  That feeling when you it occurs to you that you really need to go ahead and start your Christmas shopping because you know for sure that you’re behind the curve and let’s check the date and WAIT HOW IS IT THE 14TH ALREADY oh man it may be too late to get stuff from online because of shipping time so I’ll have to actually go out to shop but I have to work for the next three days in a row and I can’t just go afterward because then I have to admit that I’m only going shopping right now and I know everything’s gonna be picked over and pay day isn’t until next week and…

What is it about this season that makes things simultaneously so happy and just so stressful?  I think it may have to do with expectations, honestly.  You think about it, and if I say “Christmas”, what do you picture?  Probably the lights, the tree, the movies on TV, and the cold.  Pretty universal stuff.  But isn’t that weird?  Because any other time of the year is just, like, wide open for whatever; no specific mainstream traditions, no specific food you just have to have, no decorations, no specific kind of music.  Christmas is just so… formulaic.  And if you’re not normally the kind of person who “fits” into that formula, Christmas is hard, right?  Say you normally express your love for someone through service or affection – now you have to buy gifts and surprises, which you really might be terrible at.  Or maybe you have terrible allergies and can’t have a Christmas tree in the home.  Or perhaps you don’t celebrate Christmas (which perfectly fine) while everyone else does, and that makes you feel a little left out?  Whatever the case may be, when there’s a prescription for how things are supposed to go, and it just doesn’t jibe with you, well, then there’s stress.

I’m here to argue, though, that there doesn’t need to be a prescription for Christmas.  Sure, if you like all the stuff with the things, then have yourself a Merry Little Christmas™, and I hope it’s awesome.  But if you don’t, that’s ok, too.  What do you feel like you need to do to have a happy time?  Is it to go ice fishing?  Is it to finally try your hand at MMA?  Is it to binge-read Poe?  Go for it!

Worried what someone’s going to say?  Then communicate with them.  Tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing, and explain to them that you just don’t feel Christmas the way they do, or at all.  Now, I’m not saying use it as an excuse to just not follow through on responsibilities that you’ve heretofore agreed to (“sorry kids!  I just decided to focus on my art this year!”), but there’s no sense in making yourself miserable in an attempt at appearing “normal” or “happy”.

Anyway, whatever your inclination, I encourage you to just go ahead and make your holiday season look however you want it to.  And however it turns out, I hope the rest of the year looks just dandy for you, as well!

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