It’s the first week of December and already things are holiday crazy. I know a lot of people bemoan the holiday season. They say it’s stressful, having to cook and shop for so many. How do you prepare a traditional Christmas feast for all your gluten intolerant, paleo-diet, vegetarian, family and friends? What do you get a 13 year old boy who has more disposable income than you do? Hell, I’m not even sure how grandparents do it anymore. It must be so bewildering not knowing what dubstep, iPads, or Sephora are. And I get it, I really do. Work ramps up as people try to tie up all the loose ends of 2012, while at the same time, the season is full of too many fun things: decorating, parties, volunteering, and watching Love Actually 18 times in a row, just to name a few on my calendar.
But the holiday season isn’t really supposed to be about the stress. When your gluten intolerant cousin asks you how they’re supposed to eat the stuffing, you reply, at your own risk. Because really, gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard, so they’ll just have to suck it up. And be honest, when your grandparents get you socks and Laura Seacord chocolate, you’re actually going to be really pleased because that is just really good chocolate and you need socks. Don’t deny it, you do, and you don’t even know where to buy them.
Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist but I LOVE the holidays. I love that the mall is crazy. Do I love the slow walkers? NO, they need to hustle. Do I love that it’s really hard to find a parking lot? No. But I love smelling the candy cane lattés in Starbucks, I love all the crazy Christmas stuff in Chapters, I love finding the perfect, most ridiculous and quirky gifts that I know my family is just going to adore.
And maybe getting all your family together can be hectic and crazy, but I love coming home to my parents’ house and their three Christmas trees. Maybe you think that’s excessive, maybe I’ll call you Scrooge. Because while decorating three trees is a lot of work, it’s something that my mum is just really bloody good at, and nothing spreads Christmas cheer and happy feelings like soft twinkling lights and Christmas baubles.
I’ll admit it: I love the Christmas songs. Oh sure there are some I could do without – not every artist on the planet needs to do a Christmas album, I encourage many of you to just NOT – but I love me some Frank, Dean, Bing, and Michael. (Bublé that is.) And yes, I even love me some Mariah. If you don’t, you clearly haven’t watched Love Actually enough. I can’t wait for the day Adele releases a Christmas album. Am I right? I’m right.
The truth is, the holidays are busy. No one can deny that. But they don’t have to be stressful. If you just give in to the pandemonium and look around you, you’ll notice that three old girl, holding her dad’s hand, as they walk past the Santa in the mall, and she smirks this little smile that clearly says “oh yeah. I just saw Santa. No big deal.” And even when Santa then coughs a horrifying smokers cough, you can still tell yourself that the emphysema is actually from popping in and out of all those chimneys. That’s Christmas right there.