It’s Halloween weekend.
So the holiday season begins on Monday, right?
Let’s pull out our festive throw pillows. Bake cookies. Start shopping. Tell Burl Ives if he’s pouring a cup of cheer, we’re drinking.
Ooh! And Rudolph! Yes. Put on one of the old Rudolph movies!
Embrace it, because you know when you make your Monday morning Starbucks run the menu will be covered with all things peppermint and cranberry.
Listen. I can make a case for holding off on the outdoor decorations. And the Christmas tree. That’s a little aggressive when Halloween candy is still loitering about.
But – to invoke Charles Dickens – this time of year is “a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time … when men and women … open their shut-up hearts.” Have you seen The Man Who Invented Christmas? Should any of us really argue with Charles Dickens? Why wouldn’t we want a forgiving, charitable time to start as soon as possible?
Sure, there are people out there who won’t open their hearts until after Thanksgiving. I’m married to one of them.
If this South Pole elf from the British Metro likes the outdoors, she just might be my husband’s soul mate. Her rant about the holidays is endearingly familiar.
Think about George Bailey without Clarence. Scrooge without Marley and the ghostly visitors three. James Caan without Buddy the Elf. This is who I married.
Don’t worry. I’m pretty plucky. I happily do all the decorating. I joyfully handle the gift list and shopping. I’m the one who lets Santa in to do his thing. Santa and I understand each other.
And in case you’re wondering, my holiday decorating is no better than my Halloween decorating. It just doesn’t bug me as much. Remember Dickens – it’s a pleasant time.
Always remember Dickens.
Also, I find George Bailey and Ebenezer Scrooge adorable. Like Rene Zellweger in Jerry Maguire, I love them for the men they almost are.
And I really don’t think I could handle jolly. I’ve been with a curmudgeon for so long, I wouldn’t know what to do with a guy erecting nine-foot inflatable Santas all over my lawn. Lock him out, probably. Or tell his mother to come get him.
These respective holiday dispositions are genetic. And, apparently, equally dominant. We have one kid who agrees with me.
And one who agrees with him.
My oldest, who we call Buddy the Elf because that kid dances merrily in the new old-fashioned way every day of the year, has my back. That kid and I have already taken my holiday playlist out for a spin. Or two. Or seven.
My son, however, sides with my husband. I contributed nothing to that kid’s DNA except blonde hair and an uncontrollable urge to shelter homeless animals. If my husband is Dr. Evil, that kid is Mini-Me – all the holiday grumpiness in one-eighth the size.
They frown when I pull the holiday decorations from storage. Seasonal music is not to be played until Black Friday – as long as Black Friday is in December and the music was made before 1990. Christmas movies can run once December hits double-digits. Unless it’s A Christmas Story, which can run never.
They are just setting themselves up for a ghostly and/or heavenly visitor.
It won’t do any good. Neither one of them believes in ghosts. Or angels. They would spend the night arguing with their supernatural savior about the feasibility of the entity’s existence. The ghosts would leave at daybreak, exhausted and defeated, their lesson never taught.
Thankfully, businesses are on my side, rolling out their holiday merchandise as soon as the Halloween costumes come off. And we’ve been told to get working on our shopping as early as possible thanks to shipping delays.
The calendar is also on my side, with both Advent and Hanukkah beginning in November this year. And if anyone is an authority on decorating, it’s Better Homes & Gardens. They say decorating early can be good for your mental health.
They also say it will make your neighbors like you. Not so much if your neighbor is my husband. So if you’re going to do it, put an electric leg lamp in the window and call it a day. Maybe the gleam of electric sex – thank you, Ralphie – will change his mind.
Electric sex with me. Not you. We’re trying to get him into the holidays. Not ruin mine.
Because, while he may be Dwight Schrute, spreading fear instead of cheer and cooking hasenpfeffer instead of turkey like normal people – true story, although our hasenpfeffer is made with squirrel, not the traditional rabbit – I saw him first.
I’m Mary. Everyone else is Violet.
Besides. I need something to write about.