If you’re new around here, you might not know that I am a celebrator, married to a non-celebrator, when it comes to Christmas. He celebrates plenty when his new multi-channel snake with titanium overlays or banana clips or something comes via UPS. He celebrates when he, in a continual pursuit of studio excellence, finds a faux snare that sounds like a Europop band in his digital setup. But the birth of our LORD, not so much.
As a child, I would begin preliminary drafts of my Christmas list in August. My dad and I would get the tree as soon as Thanksgiving was over and the check wouldn’t bounce. Once the MOG and I started dating, we pulled him into all the holiday customs, with the eggnog and the cinnamon rolls and the utter disdain for artificial trees, and the chopping trees down at a tree farm and so on. He would come along, because he liked us and me, specifically. It wasn’t until we were married a few years that I figured out his secret. He wasn’t that into Christmas.
Would I have married him, knowing that? Well, yes. I broke up with him for bankrupting my dad at Monopoly, but honestly, I was hooked on the guy and accepted his lame apology for that, so I doubt anything would have swayed me.
A few years ago, somewhere around the time that our radio station started playing Christmas carols from Thanksgiving day through New Years, he threw down an ultimatum. Christmas could not begin prior to December 1st. I, being all kinds of submissive, accepted. Then I stepped it UP as soon as December came around. All carols, all the time. Homemade cinnamon potpourri. Christmas lights inside and outside. The tallest, fattest tree I could find, covered in lights and tinsel. A 2 foot dancing Santa, singing Jingle Bell Rock and gyrating on the mantle.
Then Toby happened. Toby is all about celebration. He wakes up screaming with excitement for Valentine’s Day. “A special EVENT! It’s a special EVENT TODAY!!” He has no idea of the mythological elements of Santa Claus, just that he is the Christmas guy and anything that has to do with Christmas is SO EXCITING. Brynn is following in his footsteps, cheering the female (?) Santa at McDonald’s and singing songs about snowmen…The MOG is weakening. He let us buy outdoor lights at Target, even with the implication that he would be putting them up. And when we found an all-Christmas station the day after Thanksgiving, he let it stay. “FELIZ NAVIDAD!” cry Toby and Brynn. So it begins.