Take my word for it: Embracing the Christmas spirit … already

By From page A4 | November 20, 2013

I was in a store last month looking to buy the finishing touches to my Halloween costume and heard a Christmas song being played in one of the aisles. I started humming along to the tune and then stopped dead in my tracks. Wait, already?

It was the end of October, and this major chain store already had a Christmas display set up in one of its aisles. I sent a text to my wife about it and her reply made me smile. “Oh, wow. Yay, Christmas!”

Yep, we’re those kind of people. You know, the type that hangs their Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. The type that has holiday jingles playing on their car stereos and home radios for nearly 30 days straight, then is sad when it all comes to end. We’re the annoying couple that makes playful comments like, “Who needs Thanksgiving anyway? Let’s just make Christmas season two months long!”

And it’s people like us that are driving the rest of you crazy. We know it, and we’re sorry.

Can you blame us, though? We’re being force-fed this stuff by stores, commercials and the media, anyone looking to exploit old Saint Nick for a few extra bucks. Some fight the temptation and bash the effort publicly, while some of us embrace it, knowing we’re suckers but living up the extra days of holly jolly fun as much as we can.

Out of respect for the bah humbuggers, we haven’t put up Christmas lights on our house yet. We haven’t purchased a tree, and we aren’t wearing red and green sweaters. Shoot, I even held off writing this column two weeks. We’ll keep that stuff to ourselves until the appropriate time, making sure we also embrace that Thanksgiving is upcoming and that deserves attention and focus.

Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate Thanksgiving, and we use the time to reflect on what we’re thankful for as we all should. We look forward to celebrating a feast with our families, and some good conversation along the way. But we try to do that stuff year round anyway, as having young kids is often an eye-opener as to how blessed a family truly is, and a reminder of how we have to teach the next generation to appreciate every aspect of a great life they are being given.

And while Thanksgiving is important, it’s honestly just not as fun. There’s a very serious tone to Thanksgiving, one I can appreciate but in a far different way. We’re reminded on Thanksgiving that we’re lucky to be here, that it took peace and understanding between enemies to come together and break bread for the greater good of what would ultimately become our country. While that’s an important lesson in humanity, it’s no Christmas carol about a fictional reindeer we all grew up loving. And it’s definitely no bedtime story about sugar plums and possible presents the next morning.

So, as is all our duty, we’ll give Thanksgiving its focus next week. In the meantime, it’s been hard stifling the Christmas spirit. My wife already has a Christmas song playlist on her phone. She turned it on so the kids could dance to it, and in response I rolled my eyes, then started singing along. What a sap I am.

I can’t wait to watch movie after movie all month long. I’m already planning workouts to combat the weight I will definitely gain as I eat everything from Thanksgiving turkey to Christmastime fudge, and a ton of candy canes between. We wait 11 months every year for this, and it’s finally here. So watch out world, the Christmas bug is looking to infect you as it already has us, and I’m not going to do a darn thing to stop it.

You’re on your own here, and if you truly want to avoid all the tinsel and glitter coming your way, you might want to go hide in a bomb shelter somewhere. And don’t turn on the TV, or the radio, for the next six weeks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Patrick Ibarra is the managing editor of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.

Patrick Ibarra

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