The first carton of egg nog has been drunk, my Red Sox snowman is hanging on our front door, and cardboard is under the tree stand to straighten out the tree.
Yup, Christmas time is here!
As you might remember from a series of posts last year (linked through this post), this is my favorite time of year — to the point that I get it started maybe a little early. (Hey, I waited until November this year to break out the Christmas music!) What do I love about Christmas time?
- It provides a valid and socially acceptable reason to watch Love Actually. We watch this all year, but people don’t look at you weird when you talk about it in December. (“Eight is a lot of legs, David.”)
- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Linus’ speech. Snoopy, gone commercial. And this week, I found this ode to the cartoon on the Washington Post website. Plus Charlie Brown has the added plus of being an instant reminder of and connector to a great friend who escaped D.C. to get back to our shared hometown of Boston.
- The annual “fight” over putting up a Christmas tree. I live with a grinch who has to apply rational thinking to Christmas trees (as in, “But we aren’t even here on Christmas. Why put up a tree?”). Yeah, it doesn’t work. I win. I love our tree.
- Snow. The last two years have featured big snowstorms right around Christmas. There is nothing better than turning out the house lights, putting on the tree, pouring some wine, and watching the snow fall. Really. Nothing.
- Crazy Christmas music. My playlist (now 300+ songs and counting) includes 1960s girl bands singing Winter Wonderland as produced by murderer Phil Spector; Bebe Newirth and John Lithgow in a salty-sounding version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside; the 12 Pains of Christmas and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer; and guaranteed-to-make-you-cry versions of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, River, and Wintersong. Chair dancing, laughing and crying, all at the same time? Yup, this is my music.
- Carolyn Hax’s Holiday Hootenanny. Best of all, it’s happening tomorrow. Let the inappropriate stories and resulting snorting start.
But what it really all comes down to is tradition. All of the things on this list are things I look forward to every year, and every one of them makes me happy (which is probably a big reason why I watch Love Actually in May, and listen to the Muppets Christmas Album with the first hours of sweater weather).
The best tradition? Packing up the car, turning on the ultimate holiday playlist and heading north, Boston-bound. Just as Amy Grant loves her Tennessee Christmas, I love my Massachusetts Christmas, complete with the feast of the seven fishes and dinner with my grandparents on Christmas Eve; stockings and presents from Santa at my parents’ house; the back porch filled with family at B’s parents’ house on Christmas Day; and a week full of time with family and friends.
Oh, and then there’s always a certain TBS marathon: