The moment Halloween ends, we get inundated with Christmas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love December. I love the whole deck-the-halls thing. Peace and goodwill. December, for all the holiday-shopping craziness, always seems like a “soft” month to me: mittens and scarves, hugs, warm hot chocolate, snow…
Back in the day, (i.e. the Dark Ages) we used to have snow all winter. I could make snowmen in December. The nights got dark early. It was cold, and we all cuddled up in our down jackets that made us look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man or the Micheline Man. Remember the plastic bread bags we put over our socks before putting on our boots to go out in the snow—which ensured you’d end up with frostbite from all the sweating your feet did in them. That scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphy can barely walk for all the “huddled up”-ness cracks me up.
That was the December of my childhood and I loved it, and still do even though snow is now more of a gift than a common occurrence.
But it’s NOVEMBER. One of the best holidays is in November and we’re in major danger of covering it under a pile of gifts and wrapping paper.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s my holiday to cook in our family. Everyone comes to our house. I get up early—although, due to Reynolds’ oven bags, I no longer have to get up before the crack of dawn to “get the bird in the oven” thank God—but I do get up early to make the stuffing (takes me about an hour). My husband helps get those ingredients ready, my kids help me make the desserts the day before, we turn the parade on on TV, and we have a nice time as a family.
Then, with the bird cooking, we set out the Scrabble game, the chess board, put the extra chairs in the family room, turn on a football game (or six), and welcome the rest of the family.
We also celebrate three birthdays. This year, my husband’s is on Thanksgiving day, and one of my kid’s and my grandmother’s all fall around the same time. (Which means we add yet another cake to the celebration, usually an ice cream one.)
I like Thanksgiving and, frankly, I’m rather annoyed when the Christmas decorations start showing up in the mall, or on streetlights in town.
The radio stations that play Christmas music could hold off one more week. The Friday after Thanksgiving used to be the traditional start to the Christmas season—whatever happened to that?
Why does Thanksgiving have to be the shuttled-aside holiday? It’s a celebration of peace—we’re giving thanks. There will be time enough for Christmas-crazies starting on Friday, but I like to take Thanksgiving as a day to slow down, spend time with my family and appreciate all that we have, both personally and as a country.
And on Friday, I’ll be hitting the stores with all the other crazies out there who have to find the best deal or early bird special. Although, this year, I won’t be shopping. I worked in a toy store the year after Tickle Me Elmo did for toy stores what JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are doing for book stores and movies, and I vowed then to NEVER hit the stores on that Friday.
But this year, while people are buying, I’ll be selling. I’ve got five book signings set up at my local stores for my latest release, Wild Blue Under. I figured if people are going to be buying, why can’t they be buying my books?
And that will be something I’m very thankful for.
Happy Holidays, everyone! What’s your favorite?