Saturday, November 25, 2006

Signs of Christmas

As I've gotten older, I've found that there are some tried and true ways of confirming that the Christmas holiday season -- my favorite time of the year -- is underway. Here is a list of some of my favorites (I'm sure I'll think of others to add as the season progresses); oddly, some of the signs seem to make their first appearance earlier and earlier.....

1. Going to get my monthly haircut and hearing an Andy Williams Christmas carol playing on the shop's radio -- almost 10 days before Thanksgiving!!

2. Flipping through the television channels on another job hunt-induced sleepless night and finding that QVC and HSN already have their Christmas trees up and the studios fully decorated -- in October!!

3. My daughter excitedly saying that she wants to go to see Santa Claus and give him the full list of Dora the Explorer merchandise that she wants -- only to have her stiffen up in horror and start screaming as we take her, dressed up in one of her finest outfits, to go sit in his lap. If there was any consolation to this year's trip, it's that it wasn't on Black Friday, and the line to see (a.k.a. flee from) Saint Nick was mercifully short.

4. Seeing the first carton of eggnog on the store shelves -- a feeling surpassed only by that first, sweet sip poured from the first carton you're actually holding in your hands.

5. Feeling that wonderful crispness in the air and immediately flashing back to countless Christmases from childhood -- the sights, the sounds, the excitement -- and now seeing that same excitement in the face of my daughter (provided, of course, that Santa isn't lurking close by).

6. Flipping through the television channels (not necessarily on a job hunt-induced sleepless night) to see if TBS is running their 24-hour marathon of "A Christmas Story."

7. Counting down the days until Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown.

8. Deciding when to buy the Christmas tree, whether it should be artificial or live (we're opting for the real thing this year), and whether it should be pine (my wife) or cedar (me). I haven't won that argument yet -- wonderful cedar tree stories from my childhood notwithstanding.

More than anything else, entering the season in the church's liturgical calendar where all the Biblical stories and signs point to the coming birth!

Any additions you may have are certainly welcome!!!


trace said...

matt - these are great. I've found that mine have shifted a bit, over the years, e.g...

- your daughter starts begging to head to the mall to try on all the things she wants for Christmas

- your family's December weekend calendar starts filling up by the second week of November, and so,

- you have to have a family planning meeting to decide when everyone's free to decorate the tree...

change is good, right?

stay in touch on the job search.

Anonymous said...

Have you read this?

Thanks for the congrats! Next year you should write that novel!

Happy Holidaze!


rdl said...

I hate eggnog and I'm with your daughter!
And the endless flyers - seems it's all about the shopping and decorating unfortunately for most.
Wake me up when it's over.

Matt said...

Trace: I appreciate you wanting to know how the job hunt is going; I'll certainly keep you guys in the loop on everything.

Susan: No, I hadn't seen that -- and I love the fact that he refers to himself and other fans as Ralphies!!

RDL: What about eggnog with a little bourbon in it?? ;-) I do agree that the holidays seem more about the commercialism and less about enjoying the little things that make Christmas such a magnificent time of year.

Patry Francis said...

Lighting the first Advent candle!

ipanema said...

That's a nice list you have there. How about must-have gifts? That's after you've decided the tree. :)

Matt said...

Patry: That was always something that I enjoyed from my childhood -- lighting the candles each week at home and at church and actually talking about what they mean. It's something I should begin doing at home for my one (almost two!!) daughters.

Ipanema: All of the must-have gifts at this point are ones I've picked out for me; all of the must-have gifts for my wife are still a mystery; and all of the must-have gifts for my daughter have already been bought (Santa finishes early in our house;-)

Dad said...

Christmas is somehow degraded when you are watching tv in the early morning hours of July 5 and the commercial for some idiotic recording comes on and the announcer says, "Just in time for your Christmas shopping!"