Last week, while flipping through radio stations as I chauffeured my kids around town, I stumbled on a station playing Christmas music. At first, I was confused and unsure of what I was hearing. It was kind of like when you were a kid and you ran into your teacher in the grocery store wearing sweatpants and buying booze. Everything is out of context and doesn’t make sense.
But as soon as I realized what I was hearing, my next thought was, Awww, hell no! WTF is this! It’s not the holidays yet!
I was annoyed and kind of pissed — like when Target tells me it’s time to buy school supplies and books while I’m getting splashed at the pool. Don’t rush me, Target!
Then I went into denial. Nope, the holidays are not just around the corner. This is not happening. Not gonna do it.
But then one afternoon, as I listened to my kids bicker about who-knows-what and read one more depressing as hell news article, I thought, Fuck it! Let’s do this. Let’s get all Kris Kringle up in here.
I’m well aware that busting out the holiday decorations this early breaks all kinds of holiday protocol. First, I’m not even a big fan of holiday decorations to begin with. Honestly, it’s a hell of a lot of work to rearrange furniture to make room for a dead tree that drops needles all on the floor. And it’s a hassle to dust the swaths of gaudy Santas, snowflakes, and stars strewn around the house. I can barely keep the bathroom pee-free for a week, let alone find room for a crate-full of corny tchotchkes around the house.
But even aside from my own personal reluctance to partake in the self-imposed chore that is holiday decorating, I’m also breaking the unwritten societal rule of “No Christmas Before Thanksgiving.”
We haven’t even thawed our 79-pound turkey yet, and it’s still motherfucking gourd season. Heck, we might still be in the ass-end of pumpkin spice season. I don’t even know anymore. What I do know is that I’m supposed to wait until after Thanksgiving to make it rain Christmas up in here, but this year I just don’t give a damn.
Sure, it might feel strange to toss around tinsel while I watch piles of unraked leaves swirl around my front yard on a sunny 70-degree day. But so what?
While I’m all about giving thanks, I don’t really care much about decorating for a holiday that has hella shady origins to begin with. I’m ready to toss the rotten gourds and uncarved pumpkins. And I sure as shit don’t want crunchy leaves and trees in various shades of brown death. We need some mothafuckin’ cheer up in this joint.
I want sparkle and glitter. I want bright red ornaments nestled in a sea of silver tinsel. I want blue Hanukkah stars and shiny menorahs. I want to see twinkly lights and jingling bells, dammit. Fortunately I have a decorative vase filled with ornaments from last year and I never took down the outdoor lights, so we’re all set. #lazinesspaysoff
Instead of waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to bust out the Christmas decorations, I’m hauling red and green bins up from the basement today. I will sing Bing Crosby while I deck the halls and trim the tree. I’m going to watch Love Actually for the 235th time, and laugh my ass off when Clark Griswold loses his shit in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I’m going to shout out an extra cheery “Happy Holidays!” to random strangers on the street. I’m going to burn pine-scented candles and spend way too much money on shiny baubles at the craft store (even though I don’t actually “craft”). Who knows, I might even put those ridiculous Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer car decals on my busted up minivan.
I’m going to do whatever the hell I have to do to feel cheery, merry, and bright. And if you’re a “wait until after Thanksgiving” Scrooge, zip it. Stop being a joy thief. Also, folks who put up holiday decorations early are happier. Fact.
Look, the world looks like a dumpster fire sometimes and we’ve got to find our joy where we can. So I am giving a middle finger to all of that nastiness via my extended holiday season. Screw the rules, the world needs more sparkle right now.