Christmas Season

Christmas Season

Gang, it's finally here! It's FINALLY HERE! No more avoiding Christmas radio stations that have already been looping holiday tunes nonstop (I hold a strict Not-Before-Thanksgiving policy). The lights can go up! The tree can sparkle! The snowmen decorations can litter my apartment! Christmas is here, friends. And it certainly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I realize I've skipped over posting about Thanksgiving (spent it Up North with Eric's family). It was wonderful and relaxing and a great holiday, and at some point I may get around to posting about it, but right now I've got a one-track mind - and it's set on CHRISTMAS.

You know the opening scene in "Christmas Vacation" where the parents are belting out Christmas carols as they drive down the road, then Clark Griswold pauses for his son to join in: "Take is away, Rust!" Well.... that was Eric and I during our three-hour drive back to Milwaukee on Sunday. Just singing along merrily the whole time, his 18-year-old brother and our cat, Mr. Pancakes, wincing from the back seat, praying for us to stop.

When we got home, we immediately dragged out the Christmas decorations from storage. We rested for about an hour, then got right to work. While spinning Christmas records we loved as kids, we put up the tree and set up all the decorations around the apartment. And later that night, we chose "Christmas Vacation" as our first holiday movie to watch for the year. It's always a good one to start off with. "A Christmas Story" comes later - at a time when we're both ready to recite it, word for word, to the ending.

Last year, although he never took kindly to his pilgrim hat for Thanksgiving, we bought Mr. Pancakes a Santa hat and a jingle-bell collar. We attempted to put them on him but it lasted just three seconds. This year, he stood still, adorned in fanciful Christmas regalia for nearly three minutes before going berzerk! That is how I was able to capture the photo above (later than night, I made this e-Christmas card for Mr. Pancakes - I know he'd want it spread all around). Mr. Pancakes loves Christmas, but he won't let anyone know - he tries to put on a gruff exterior, despite his fluffiness.

I'm not afraid to admit I am a bonafide Christmas nerd. It really is my happiest time of year. I get so worked up about it, mostly because of nostalgia. I have Christmas routines that cannot be broken (for example: I must watch every Christmas movie I loved as a child before Christmas Day or it won't really be Christmas), and I must bake plenty of treats to share with everyone around me (and eat half of them myself). I love the fact that, in the year 2010, we're all still enamored with movies, music and traditions from generations before us. Christmas is timeless and ageless and at times, even hokey, but it's the one time of year we're all expected to act like kids, and even encouraged to do so.

What's your favorite holiday? Is it Christmas? Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?

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