Usually at this time of the year, I’m counting down the days until I can fire up The Hallmark Channel and listen to cheesy, holiday-themed romantic nothings being whispered in my ear. I wait (not-so) patiently, give Thanksgiving its due, and then go balls to the wall with my Christmas preparation.
But not this year.
This year, I didn’t even wait until Thanksgiving to decorate my home with garland and cinnamon pinecones. In fact, I figured the day after Halloween was a good day to do the deed and deck my halls, my car, and tell Alexa to blast Christmas music until I tell her to stop.
This year has been nothing but trouble, and 2020 was supposed to be amazing. We all had high hopes on January first that this was going to be it — the year we said we’d live our best life — and we meant it.
Now we are just trying to live. In the same four walls. Day in and day out, with the same people, as we watch the world around us crumble and struggle to find its legs again.
Despite the 2020 shitshow, I love Christmas. I always have, and I always will.
There was a minute when I felt stressed and overwhelmed thinking about it. I know I won’t be able to partake in the same holiday traditions I’ve done for years — a cookie swap with my family, a Christmas dinner with my friends at our favorite restaurant, holiday parties.
But I realized I could take away something that has always brought me tremendous joy because the world is a dumpster fire and fill that with doom and gloom too, or I could hold on to my favorite time of the year with the force of ten thousand mothers and hope 2020 ends on a good note.
I wanted to look forward to Christmas the same way I did when I was a kid because frankly, what else is there to look forward to right now?
We need to hang onto the moments, things, and people who are bringing us joy right now, because those are the only damn things that are going to get us through.
Plus, we have an excuse to stay in our pajamas, watch all the Christmas movies, and bake the day or evening away with our kiddos because it’s the freakin’ holidays, bitches.
If being extra and decorating every room in your house makes you happy, why not do it? We are bound to our homes more than ever, so we might as well make them festive AF.
If you haven’t sent out Christmas cards for years because you are too busy, but love and miss the tradition, why not do it this year?
Personally, I feel no shame that I’ve been wearing my holiday pajamas since Halloween candy was still in the store aisles.
And while I’m wearing said pajamas, I am going to make all the cookies I have pinned in Pinterest. I think it’s about 45 different kinds, but who’s counting? I have a freezer and I’m not afraid to use it.
I need something in my life right now that’s happy, cheery, and makes me feel alive. Christmas has always done that for me, but I always tried to do the “decent” thing and hold back on decorating and baking until mid-November.
Not this year.
Everything went up early — the wreath, the lights, the candles in the window, and the electric bill — because dammit, this shit makes me happy.
I get instantly relaxed when I smell cookies baking in the oven. It reminds me of the simpler days of my childhood.
I love getting up before everyone else and turning the Christmas lights on the tree so it’s the first thing my kids see when they walk downstairs.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more together than having wrapped gifts under the tree and stockings hanging waiting to be filled.
Even if I’m not sitting down to watch every Christmas movie, just hearing them in the background while I make dinner, clean, or I’m talking with my kids feels comforting.
I didn’t want to wait to enjoy these things any more. I wanted them now.
I know the holidays can be hard on people, and they certainly don’t get everyone out of a funk or make them want to guzzle eggnog and rejoice. But they do for me, and I’m really counting on them doing their job and more this year. I’ll do anything that I think might help end 2020 on a positive note, and if that includes settling into the holiday spirit ridiculously early, so be it. The good Lord knows we all deserve some long-overdue cheer.
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