Let’s get this party started!

1st December 2013, Sunday, Was that a snowflak...

1st December 2013, Sunday (Photo credit: tomylees)

I am providing you with a rare opportunity ~ a sneak peek into this week’s  newspaper column which is not due until tomorrow morning. As this is the first day of December I thought it was apropos. This is not hot off the presses–it is a look at something before it even meets the presses:     

            December really creeps up on us. It is not like we do not know that it is coming. But I am always a bit unprepared for this most magical time of the year. It comes directly after stealthy November, so why am I so surprised that there are now just a few weeks before Christmas instead of months?  I believe that my ability to live in denial gets me through November, but when December skulks out of the shadows and jingles its bells even I cannot deny that I should get in gear.

            So what gets you into the Christmas spirit? I devour Christmas magazines and cookbooks but seldom glean anything of import from them. I am not particularly crafty though for years I pretended—but now I just let the authentic me loose, and authentic me is not all that crafty.  I enjoy a bit of cutting and pasting but that gets old after a while and does not really get one much past making  Christmas cards, paper snowflakes, or the occasional bookmark. I think that my crafting phase has passed and though it was short-lived I did give it the “old college try” and if you happened to be the recipient of my craftiness, rest easy that you will not have to admire my “all thumbs” creations in the future.


English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  I do have a bit of a decorating bent, but find that I am thinking about the fact that what I gloriously decorate my home with will have to be taken down in about a month—so of late I tend to decorate with statement  pieces rather than all the small things I have collected over the years. The only place I break this rule now is the Christmas tree—mine drips with nostalgic tissue paper bells, popsicle stick sleds, pipe cleaner snowmen, and pinecones decorated with lots and lots of glitter. Sure my kids are in their twenties now—and are no longer producing these little works of art—but I keep them stashed safely away and bring them out every year reliving their childhoods when innocent belief reigned supreme.

            I remember those days of innocent belief, when I was not the purveyor of all things Christmas but an innocent and receptive beneficiary. As a kid, I could not believe that there could be a thing so wondrous as Christmas. My mother can be blamed in large part for this, as she created the best Christmases ever.  I remember going to my cousin’s house one Christmas and she showed me all the clothes she got and I recall thinking how horrible—mind you she was four years older than I, so at 13 she was very happy to get clothes, but at nine years of age I could not imagine worse presents. I told my mom then that I was really glad that Santa had not left me clothes. Dolls and books, games and toys were more my speed at that age—and Santa always made sure there was plenty to unwrap under our tree.

            At our house, we did not have the tradition of each person unwrapping one present at a time while the others in the family looked on—and though I now think it is a lovely way to celebrate—I liked the way we were each given a present and we all opened them at once. It added to the confusion and chaos of Christmas morning—which is one of its most attractive attributes to me. We were a family of six—mom and dad and two boys and two girls—and the mayhem was all part of the fun.


Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Shopping

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree  (Photo credit: K!T)

    Christmas past seems to play a large part of Christmas present. We remember old traditions and we keep them even if just in our memories. Some are translated to fit today; and others are kept intact to be celebrated over and over again. I have a rather bedraggled Christmas tree that my kids do not want me to get rid of because it is the one they remember from their childhoods. So every year we get it out and dress it to the nines, and it is transformed from a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the belle of the Christmas ball. 

            So as this month of December gets started and we embrace it and all that it celebrates, we will enjoy the new season it heralds. Winter is made so much more palatable by the cheer imparted by the holiday season.

            In the immortal words of Pink: (Let’s) “Get this party started right now.”


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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think I am ready….almost all my shopping is done and my house is decorated. What helps me get into the spirit are the smells of Christmas….baking, scented candles, fresh evergreens…I do love the holiday season, and I think we have our mom to thank for that!

    • oh the smells–I love them too–I got a real evergreen wreath for the front door so I could have that smell–and you are right–it was our mom who instilled a deep sense of Christmas in us!

  2. What a treat to read the article before it’s published! Thank you! I started to decorate the other day and like you, I decided on statement pieces instead of the house looking like a Christmas store minus the tags! ♥

  3. Thanks for the sneak peak. Remembering those days of innocence also. I agree with you–let the party begin!–turning on some Christmas music and humming along.

    • if I want the house to myself I just put on Micheal Buble’s Christmas music

  4. Hard to believe it’s December already! Where does the time go? 🙂 Ready or not, here it comes!

  5. I really do enjoy this time before Christmas… We had the same tradition..re presents.. Everyone was given one at the same time..We of course did not have nearly the number to open as some of today’s children… I think in a way too many diminishes the ‘surprise expectation’ of ‘what will I get I wonder… because these days I think it’s almost as given that they will get ‘everything’ they wan’t….Anyway…here’s to the ‘party’….Diane

  6. You’ve written a wonderful article. LouAnn. I think that the magic of Christmas only appears when there are children in the equation. This year, we’re just spending the day with friends, and will hook up with family via Skype. I used to really enjoy Christmases past, before it became so over-commercialised.

  7. Nope. I need a few more weeks

  8. I’m feeling the spirit of Christmas already & this just added to it! 🙂

  9. I’m definitely feeling the spirit and have been listening to Christmas music since last month (uh… did I just admit this out loud??). My family and I have also been using the same worn old tree from when I was a kid, complete with our elementary school-made ornaments. Such good times and like you said, it always brings back memories when decorating! 🙂

    • sometimes I think you and I are twins born decades apart–I too have been listening to Christmas music since mid-November and we both have Charlie Brown trees!

  10. Happy December! And a sneak peek–I’m impressed you didn’t wait until the very last second. I do !

    • I still haven’t got much done around here yet though–hopefully this week

  11. Never had a family of my own, so only have memories of my own childhood Christmas’. The past certainly does become a part of Christmas present. Lovely post.

  12. I too live in denial until December – but then, I’ve always felt that I work best under pressure. I have no decorations up, no gifts bought, and no baking done yet. But I have faith that I will get there. I hope.

    • I am barely ahead of you–I have a wreath on the front door and some pinecones in wooden dish–we will get there I am sure

  13. Christmas? Christmas? I can’t believe it’s upon us. I’m not ready.

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