First of all, OK, yes, I know it’s probably too early by most people’s standards to be thinking about Christmas. Despite the decorations already showing up in stores, my friends are all still wailing about how it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.
Heck, it isn’t even Halloween yet -- and I have always been a Halloween person. I love costumes and spooky stuff. I love bats and rats and spiderwebs. I love cauldrons and witch hats and fake graveyards set up in people’s front yards.
I love watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and kicking off an extended holiday season that’s worth celebrating all the way to New Year’s Day (or Mardi Gras, if you’re talking to my husband).
But this year, I think I am going to finally have to admit it: at some point, I have transitioned into a Christmas person. Fake snow -- because real snow seems very cold -- thrills me with its glitter. Wrapping paper makes my heart soar. Spotting twinkle lights on someone’s house ranks higher even than spotting chickens in someone’s yard -- and that is very high indeed on my personal scale of being delighted.
And I’m pretty gothy in my influences so, you know, every day is Halloween. (I’d suggest adding that song to any good Halloween-themed playlist.) In fact, that might be what kicked this all off -- my workspace is decorated in spooky style even when it’s Valentine’s Day. My love of skull prints means I regularly try to incorporate it into business casual. And I’m an agnostic, so my Christmas is a secular one.
Every day really is Halloween. But Christmas is still just once a year.
Another issue for me: man, I love costumes and cosplay but it means you don’t need the opportunity presented by Halloween, which means I am always way too stressed to enjoy costuming at Halloween time. (Incidentally, if you have a suggestion of a character in sci-fi/fantasy from film and television that I should be for Halloween for work, let me know -- I am running out of time to make my costume.)
Yes, I know, I am getting in my own way here -- I just don’t want to give up “festive Halloween garb” as a year-round style.
If I didn’t live in Florida, where it is still essentially a low-key summer, I would have ordered these sweaters:
Actually, I might still need that lederhosen sweater just for fun. It doesn’t have to be Oktoberfest to wear lederhosen, does it?
It’s a lot easier to dress low-key festive once the red and green and white and blue comes out. First, there’s anything glittery. Sequins are automatic holiday wear. Then there’s ugly sweaters -- no matter what holiday they celebrate, ugly holiday sweaters are one of my favorite things in life (browse GeltFiend.com regularly for some extra fine Jewish holiday style).
There’s also the general holiday preparation. It’s not like I haven’t enjoyed looking forward to family and gatherings and that sort of thing. It’s that this year I’m medicated and get to enjoy looking forward to that stuff with considerably less anxiety.
And here’s maybe the biggest deal: I really NEED the holidays this year. I think everyone I know needs just five minutes of something giving them a warm and loved feeling, even if it’s just a memory of the last time they had Christmas with their grandmother.
That is maudlin as all get out, maybe, but it’s been a tough year. And it continues to be one. But giving myself permission to anticipate twinkle lights and present wrapping means giving myself permission to believe that we can all be part of lightening someone else’s emotional load for just a minute. And if we can all do that for each other, maybe we really will have a merry and bright holiday season, no matter what we’re celebrating.
Or, you know, at least maybe we’ll get some presents that we like.
Last week I thought my optimism might be dead but look at that -- it’s making a comeback.
Where do you fall on this Very Important Issue? Are you a Halloween person? Or are you appalled by the sightings of winter holiday decorations in the capitalist forests of the consumer hunting grounds?
Maybe you, like me, are just waiting day by day until you can watch "Elf" without shame (and that day is the day after Thanksgiving) while you order shirts for this holiday? Help me out here -- which one should I order?
In the meantime, do we need to do a “Nightmare Before Christmas” watch-along? Because I’d be down for that.