~Norman Vincent Peale
Oh yes, it is a Christmas blog in October
Yesterday morning I awoke at the ungodly hour of 8 am to go on a very successful climbing trip. My friends and I were more than a little stoked about the fact that the temperatures in TN have recently dropped faster than the Titans’ pride. It was during said trip that I realized how close we are to winter and the very best time of the year. Call me premature, say I’m rushing, but I am already more than a little excited about christmas.
Now the pessimists out there will undoubtedly point out that there are still two major holidays before christmas arrives, (and yes I am sorry that I am not taking into account all religious holidays, but this is my blog so I can do that). Well let’s examine these two holidays. First up to bat, we have Halloween. Yeah, Halloween was fun when we were 8 years old and the prospect of a trash bag of candy was beyond our comprehension, but ever since we outgrew the ability to “trick or treat” things just haven’t been the same. Sure, some of us held onto our tricking and treating identities with a desperate fervor comparable only to Brett Favre’s colorful last few seasons. (I bet the people who handle his retirement fund HATE him!) But for those of us who have moved on to lame costume parties and semi-delinquent behavior, Halloween is a sorry excuse for a holiday. For one night, we all gather around under the pretense of scaring each other and dressing up in strange ways. Maybe I’m just spoiled because we do this every night at my house.
Then there’s thanksgiving. Now I’m not even going to try and hate on thanksgiving because it’s awesome, but it’s just the warmup. (I also don’t buy the whole Native Americans and pilgrims thing. I just don’t see how the pilgrims made time in their busy scheduling of killing and destroying to sit down and have a nice meal.) Either
way, thanksgiving is nice. The meals are great, the family is usually pretty enjoyable, but it’s no christmas. Thanksgiving is our national “eat and do nothing day” which is ok because it’s patriotic (or something like that). Thanksgiving is a pit stop on the way to Christmas.
Christmas is the most….. magical, wonderful, fragrant, joyous, fantastic, beautiful, loving, warm occasion that human beings allow themselves to experience. Don’t believe me? On a frigid night, weeks (or days) before Christmas, find someone you love (doesn’t matter who, but preferably a romantic interest). Then take that person to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Don’t arrive until 9 pm at the very earliest. Then proceed to walk around as slowly and aimlessly as you can possibly manage. Take time to soak in the lights and atmosphere that will engulf your very being on a level which is nothing short of spiritual. Allow yourself to be transported back to a time when you believed in magic. A time when Aladdin was a real boy and when the nutcracker really kind of scared you. Watch the people and way they hold each other around that time of year. Especially look for an older couple holding hands. I promise they will be there. Watch the way that they look into each others eyes and if you don’t feel that warm feeling boiling up inside you then immediately proceed to an auto shop because you’re obviously a robot from the future and you need mechanical attention.
Christmas is amazing not because of the gifts, not because of that one day when you rush down the stairs to find your favorite toy, not because of the snow. Christmas is amazing because of the month or so leading up to it when the magic molecules in the air are more numerous then the hydrogen molecules. When you see people on the street in their coats bundled up for warmth and for that split second you are friends. Christmas is just as much about the taste of hot apple cider on your frozen lips as it is about the tree in your living room. Christmas is wonderful not because it is a holiday or event, but because it is a season. Christmas is wonderful because it is a celebration of the most important birth in history. My theory is that love is so present around christmas time because Christ’s birth signified the beginning of real love on earth.
So maybe I am starting the christmas season a tad bit early, but that’s just the way I am. I plan on pulling every last morsel of goodness out of this christmas season. If you are still skeptical, bust out the old christmas CD and see what I’m talking about. I know you have a favorite christmas CD, everyone does. If you’re looking for one, I’d like to suggest “Christmas- All Time Greatest Records” also ‘N Sync’s “Home For Christmas” is just splendid.
“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.”
~Mary Ellen Chase