Can I put up the Christmas tree yet?


It’s November 1st, the morning after another chaotic but fun filled Halloween. It’s cooler this morning, and the sky looks grayer. Winter is on the horizon. I put my old maternity sweater around my shoulders, slide on my furry knee high slippers boots, and I get to work taking down the skeletons, pumpkins, witches, and bats. The foam headstones that decorated the mantle for the past four weeks are packed back in the basement. The creepy ghosts and goblins from the front porch too. I can feel it. Christmas is coming

I know, I know… Thanksgiving is first. I love watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while the smell of turkey fills the house. I look forward to the stuffing that has been in our family for generations more than anything else in the world. A bowl of that topped with steaming hot gravy is my desert island food. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And quite honestly, sometimes I do. Over the next few weeks we’ll make hand turkeys and place cards so my daughter can make sure everyone sits exactly where she wants them to. But still, one question keeps popping into my head: “Can I put the tree up yet?”

Lots of people I know jump on the holiday train immediately after Halloween. And that’s OK, but it’s not for me. My kids asked to watch the Grinch the other day and I answered with an emphatic “NO.” Not because I myself am a Grinch. I love Christmas as much as the next person. Trust me! I do! But I have this theory that if you start too early, it will get old and worn out. It’s like living next to Disney World. If it’s right there and you can go whenever you want, it’s not all that special. Is it?

So we won’t watch the Polar Express or crack a bottle of eggnog. I won’t play Christmas music early or look for The Family Stone on Netflix. I will contain myself  until the morning after Thanksgiving.

But when that day arrives, watch yourself! I will blast Mariah Carey and Josh Groban at a ridiculous volume. While much of the world is out shopping and waiting in line for the hot toy of the season, I’ll be pulling out the stars, the manger, and the snowmen. I’ll be hanging wreaths and stringing up the lights. We’ll watch Arthur Christmas and drink hot chocolate for breakfast. And as always with our Black Friday tradition, we won’t go out, we won’t fight the crowds, and we won’t even get dressed.

In the weeks to come, we’ll bake cookies and make Christmas bark. We’ll take a trip to LaSallette. I highly recommend getting there just before the lights go on if you have never done so. It’s an awesome sight to see as they light up all at once. I am really looking forward to the annual dinner I have with my girlfriends and to the nights of wrapping presents with a glass of Old New England (hands down the best bottled eggnog there is.) But even though I am already thinking about all of it, I won’t do it.

You see, I am one of those people who saves their favorite thing on the plate for last. And Christmas time is by far my favorite. Something changes in the air once the bells start ringing in front of Stop and Shop. I become that annoyingly happy person who goes out of their way to say Merry Christmas to perfect strangers. I listen to nothing but the Christmas station and I refuse to change the channel.  Yes, I go overboard, but that’s the best part.   Sure the holidays are overly commercialized, but it only gets that way if you let it. Soak up the best parts, the excitement, the precious moments spent with family and friends, the homemade cookies… and leave the rest for the Scrooges of the world. I’ll just be over here, waiting…until I can finally put up the Christmas tree.

“The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin.” – Clark Griswold