Wow, can you believe how fast this year went? It’s a blur to me, that’s for sure—one of those ‘I’ve enjoyed every day, but where the heck did they go?’ years. Which means that it’s almost time to Release The Tree. And by that, I mean pull out the box that houses my 6’ faux tree, which resembles nothing more than a collection of giant green pipe cleaners, massage them into a vaguely conical shape, and decorate it with a variety of cat-friendly decorations (i.e., relatively sturdy and too big to be inserted beneath any kitchen appliance).
Last year was the first in a long, long time that I had any urge to dress the house up for the winter holidays (which I contend is, in New England, as much as anything a way to gird our loins for the coming winter). And this, along with my deep pleasure at Arizona’s having installed shelves in the storage room and feeling of accomplishment at trimming our electric bill with a combination of weather stripping and fuzzy blankets, tells me that I’m home now, in a way I hadn’t even realized I wasn’t before. And, more, that I’m home for the holidays.
For some people, the holidays begin when Starbucks busts out the red cups and the gingerbread lattes, or when Coke releases the ornament-shaped bottles (which Arizona calls “Coke balls” and adores). For others, it’s when the strings of colored lights go up in the neighborhood, and the candles appear in the windows.
Then of course there is the flip-side of holiday cheer—the stuff that sets you on edge. For me, it’s when my usual radio station switches over to 24/7 carols, forcing me to go elsewhere for tunes from now until the New Year. Or when the stores start with the holiday decorations in October (Home Depot, I’m looking at you!). Oh, and the deluge of junk mail. Seriously, people, I prefer shopping local, and if I want to buy something from you, I’ll go online!
But on the up-side, there’s eggnog, fruitcake, and red-and-green M&Ms. Oh, and candy canes! I’m not a big fan, but the horses at the rescue love them.
So that’s me, I guess—thumbs up on the tree and food, thumbs down on premature decoration and noise pollution. How about you? What are your loves and hates of this time of year?