The turkey’s been carved (or, in our case, turkeys — because every Thanksgiving dinner of four adults and four children under 4 requires two turkeys), the wine bottles have been dropped discreetly in the recycling barrel, and Black Friday doorbusters are behind us.
You know what that means: it’s time to usher in the Christmas season.
Today’s wind chill was in the 20s, and there were “conversational” snowflakes in the air. Bring on the fa-la-la and Charlie Brown and the pine needles and the jumbled knots of lights and all that stuff.
Unless, you know, you’re me, and you’ve also been listening to Christmas music on the sly for weeks. Hey, when you have hundreds of songs on your ultimate Christmas playlist, you have to get started early. (I did put the playlist on a brief hiatus last week when it hit 75 here.)
If you’re new here, you might not know about my Christmas addiction, but it turns out that I’ve actually written more about Christmas than almost anything else on this blog. So I figured I might as well round up the posts I’ve written about my Christmas memories, favorite holiday movies and songs, and some of the more…imperfect…parts of the season.
So pour yourself some egg nog or mulled wine, and take a spin through my ghosts of Christmas posts past:
- My favorite holiday movies. Feel free to comment with your favorite Love Actually quote. I’ll get us all started: “Eight is a lot of legs, David.”
- My top 10 Christmas songs. 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. (For the record, I’m not the only Christmas music crazy. Check out this Vox piece on why Christmas music still makes so much money.)
- My ode to the tradition of the family Christmas tree. Charlie Brown has nothing on us. Somehow I married a guy who attempts to apply rational thinking to Christmas trees (as in, “But we aren’t even here on Christmas. Why put up a tree?”). Only problem: rational thinking doesn’t apply to me + Christmas. I win. I love our tree.
- Christmas Eve, 2007: Our Hootenanny of Holiday Horrors. With a title like that, how can you not read? That night falls squarely into the “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” category — though at the time, there were definitely more tears than laughs.
- A more-sweet-than-bitter look at the tradition of sending Christmas cards: why, for many years, I didn’t, and the happy promise they represented for me a couple of years ago.
What this list really comes down to is tradition. These 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.