I’m Already Listening To Christmas Music, Go Ahead And Judge Me
As I type this, “Christmas Time Is Here” is blasting out of my laptop’s overworked speakers. It is November 6, and today in Los Angeles it will be 86 degrees. We’re still eating Halloween candy out of a plastic pumpkin crowding our kitchen counter, and our Thanksgiving plans are in limbo in an email chain somewhere. And yet in my heart it is already Christmas time, and IDGAF if you think that’s weird.
Growing up, Christmas always felt very organic in my house. I didn’t have a mom who wore Christmas sweaters or a family that was super religious. I just remember that slowly, as the days got shorter, decorations popped up, and Christmas music would quietly play from the boom box in the corner of our living room. Our house felt warmer, softer; everything smelled a little bit like cinnamon. We lived in Massachusetts, and the dark, icy air looked beautiful punctured with dots of color and light. We would trudge out to a farm to get our Christmas tree, and the frozen ground would crunch under our boots. Oldies 103 (RIP) would play Christmas music all the time, with every station blastingÂ “The 12 Pains of Christmas”Â each December (this, apparently, is only a Boston thing).
Even as adults, the magic of Christmas still permeated our home and family. We got drunk (er, maybe only I got drunk) and played board games, and my dad continued his tradition of hiding some presents for my brother and me around the house on Christmas Eve. Sure it was weird being a grown up hunting for a book under a couch, but that’s what the holidays are all about, right? The tiny part of you that’s still 6-years-old gets to reemerge, giddy and uninhibited.
When my mom died of cancer, my dad, brother and I took off for the Caribbean for the first Christmas without her, the second one too. Slogging through the holidays after she died felt unnatural. It threw the entire thing off balance. Who was going to turn the Christmas music in the living room on? But we slowly figured it out. My dad hid presents behind palm trees. Eventually we found new traditions; my brother cooked, my dad’s new wife joined us later, and eventually my two kids got in on the act. The joy is still there. The magic too. My house warm up too as the holidays appear on the horizon. (Though maybe it’s just the 86 degree weather today.)
I get why people eye roll when I start blasting Nat King Cole on November 1st. But I’m just trying to squeeze as much of that holiday happiness out into my year as I can. As an East Coaster living in California the holidays feel particularly weird because all the cues I’m used to – snow, darkness, a horrible bitter chill that lasts through April – are absent. So music is particularly helpful in getting into the spirit of things. Is the over-Christmasitzation of things annoying as hell? Sure. My Costco has had Christmas trees up since August, and it is ridiculous. But is it wrong to want to inject a little of that pure Christmas happiness into one’s own life by obsessively listening to Bing Crosby tunes while doing the dishes?
Nope. Not at all. The holiday season is so short that I am willing to take what I can get, for as long as I can. Still, you’re welcome to make fun of me for doing so. I’m too busy singing along with “Dominick the Donkey” to give a sh*t.