As the holiday season begins to go full-throttle, here a few observances from the first weekend…
-Twinkly lights make everything 100x nicer than it is. Case in point: my family and I went by the home of our “neighborhood light show” this past weekend. This is a family whose property is literally dripping in lights. Thousands of teeny, multi-color lights strung through the trees, as if the gods above dropped them from the sky, umpteen Christmas trees (some looking a little worse for the wear), little elf cottages and hundreds of wooden characters…all these along a path weaving through this family’s yard. Say nothing of the actual house…covered chimney to basement in lights, with Santa and his reindeer romping across the roof. It’s nuts. But you know? It’s a good kind of nuts. Yes, the trees and cottages definitely need a visit from a Holiday Extreme Home Makeover show, but those lights…ah, those lights…they make it all seem great, in a totally kitchy, have-to-visit-every-year kind of way. Just like candlelight, twinkly lights can work a certain kind of magic.
-Egg Nog. Let’s keep it simple folks. Gingerbread flavored? Peppermint? No sale here. Just a sprinkling of nutmeg is all I want to taste in addition to the Egg. Or the Nog.
-It’s a Wonderful Life is perhaps the best holiday movie ever. My husband rolls his eyes and I sit there like a sentimental kook every single season, getting all sniffly when Zuzu’s petals are found and the town turns up with the cold hard cash. May Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart go on forever.
-Sweet tart candy canes? Nope. That’s up there with the freak-flavored egg nogs. Keep ’em red and white. Peppermint only.
-Having a large, living tree in your home at Christmas is one of the best traditions going. The smell of the balsam (or Fraser, in our case), the twinkly lights, the ornaments. I loved our tree so much last year, that we kept it up through Valentine’s Day. I kid you not. At Epiphany, I was not ready to part with it, so we just took the ornaments off and kept it there with it’s gorgeous, icy, white lights. For the rest of January, it was our “winter tree”. It added some nice life to the quiet, new month. And finally in February, my girls and I made construction paper hearts and piled the tree with love. Kind of a Giving Tree gone wild. February 15th it was finally put to rest. It had a good, long life.
-If you see me sniffling at a stop light, it probably from some of these Christmas songs on the radio that I can’t help myself from listening to perpetually until December 25th. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole reduces me to a puddle every time. Imagine living with that man? I’d be a crying fool just listening to him read the grocery list.
-And finally, the Elf on the Shelf. The celebrity of the season second only to St. Nick himself. I remember this Elf from when I was a kid, but back then, he just perched in the tree all season, holding his little elf knees to his chest as if he was horribly cold or a cast member from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Nowadays, there is activity involved…and whole websites devoted to his nightly exploits! I can tell you that more than once during each season, I will bolt out of bed at three in the morning, realizing that I didn’t move the Elf to a new location. Damn that Elf.
-And finally, the almighty holiday card. Nothing can make you feel more behind-the-ball than a holiday card that arrives before December 1st (R, I’m talking about you…lovely as it was!). Just when I thought I was on top of things because mine were ordered way in advance of Thanksgiving, someone beats me to the punch and gets them in the mail a week faster.
Have a good day, everyone and start enjoying this season! 🙂
Cocktail time tomorrow….