I cling to Christmas. I’d like to say that I have some tradition to which I hew—celebrating exactly twelve days of Christmas, say, or keeping my garland nailed up until the end of whatever date anthropologists think marks the end of the pagan winter solstice.
I used to aspire to traditions, now I aspire to survival. So cling is the right word.
I grab hold after Thanksgiving, as soon as I can slow the carousel of work and life. I don’t pull the brake until after Thanksgiving, because I instinctively resist being made to do anything. Every year, the desperate big-box retailers try to gin up our holiday shopping a little earlier, and I don’t like the pressure one bit.
I swear, as God is my witness, my local Wal-Mart was playing Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is You” a full two weeks before Thanksgiving this year. Overcoming the perennial commercial Christmas bullying to put up my tree is like starting a meal with a full case of indigestion. [Read more...]