This morning I realized that now is the time for me to listen to Christmas music. It is also the time for me to watch Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s A Wonderful Life, and have fun thinking about Christmas decorations, and go to holiday bazaars, and enjoy all the Christmasy stuff that is going to make me so cranky in about a month! You see, before it’s Advent, it’s still fun. It’s ridiculous that all the Christmas stuff is in the stores already, and I’m sorry, Wal-Mart, but hearing a cheesy version of Frosty The Snowman over the PA is not going to make me want to buy more things. But still, this is that brief, magical window of time in which it’s still fun. I haven’t gotten overexposed to cheap, meaningless decorations. I’m not freezing, nor slipping and sliding in slush. I’m not even stressed about Christmas presents, and whether or not I’ll be able to complete all of them in time. (I won’t. I should just accept this now.) But the main reason why it’s still fun is because it’s not Advent yet.
You see, I like Advent. I like the waiting. I like the quiet. I like lighting one more candle every week. I like the excitement that builds while you look forward to the amazingly good thing coming. I don’t want to celebrate Christmas while it’s Advent because it isn’t time yet. When people start trying to make me celebrate Christmas before it’s actually Christmas, it makes me cranky. I change my phone’s ring tone to O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and refuse to listen to Christmas carols or Christmas songs (to me Christmas carols specifically reference Christmas or the birth of Christ, while Christmas songs merely express general delight in winter or other not-specifically-Christian seasonal joy). I do make an exception for I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas, but come on, it’s hippopotamuses. You have to make an exception for them!
This has given me something of a reputation for being a scrooge (mostly because of how much I grumble when forced to put up the office Christmas tree), but I think this is unfair. I love Christmas! I love celebrating Christmas! I regularly tear up when singing Silent Night! I know all the verses to Joy To The World! I have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, and multiple Nativity sets (and still want more)! I love Messiah sing-alongs, and Christmas lights, and stringing popcorn, and watching Christmas movies, and all of it. I just, you know, don’t want to do it during Advent.
Anyway, last week I bought the new Michael Buble Christmas album (it’s pretty cool), and this morning I moved Miracle on 34th Street and It’s A Wonderful Life up to the top of my Netflix queue. I think I might add How The Grinch Stole Christmas to it too. For these two weeks until Advent starts on November 27, I’m going to enjoy them. And it will be good.