By Thamar Jones
Late November and the “Christmas feeling” was eerily absent…. On December 1 I woke up to the sound of Christmas music blaring loudly from across the street. Was it the Crawfords or was it the Rhaburns further up from me? Whoever it was, was intruding upon my will to push all thoughts of Christmas away! I knew that I couldn’t delete Christmas; I couldn’t wipe it off the calendar and at some point I would have to get my sorry butt in the mood. But this “We wish you a Merry Christmas” b.s. playing way above the prescribed legal decibel, was an assault to my ears and my nerves on this December morning.
Christmas– it felt like a duty– to celebrate, to be merry and bright. A duty to spend big money on gifts for people, clothes for parties, and paint and decorations for the house. I resisted Christmas and all the hustle and bustle that came with it. I resisted but Christmas was coming on December 25, whether I was ready or not.
The music playing brought back memories of Christmases from years ago. My dad, when we were younger, recorded an entire Christmas album using a stereo and cassette player/recorder. Whenever Love FM played the good Christmas hits, my dad would hit record. The man was a genius in my books, because for years and years to come we had the best Christmas music on cue.
He would dust off his collection every year around this time, pop in one of his Christmas cassettes and we, my brother and I were instantly jubilant. We would dance around the Christmas tree for hours, silently competing to see who could copy my dad’s stellar moves best. My mom, peeking in from the kitchen every now and then, cheered us on making us shriek in happy laughter.
As I lay in bed, these memories brought laughter to my lips. I pulled my comforter over my head, enjoying the warmth and nostalgia that filled me up.
Christmas music will do that to you, I tell you. Doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of July or December 24th, if you want to summon the Christmas Spirit, play a Christmas song or two. It works every time.
I got out of bed a few minutes later and decided that it was time to start making my Christmas to-do list. It looked something like this:
Christmas to-do List
1. Make a child smile.
2. Visit an elderly person.
3. Clean until the house is spotless and polish until it shines!
4. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
5. Decorate the tree and deck the halls.
6. Bake Christmas ham.
7. (Try to) bake delicious black fruit cakes and Christmas cookies.
8. Add new songs to my Christmas music Collection and movies to my Christmas movie collection.
9. Let Christmas music fill the house to keep the Christmas feeling alive!
10. Christmas gift shopping for the ones I love.
11. Wrap Christmas presents.
12. Give a gift to a needy person or family.
13. Flag down the Coke truck before cokes get scarce.
14. Stock up on Christmas wines and spirits.
15. Wash my Christmas sweaters so I’ll be ready for when Christmas breezes blow.
16. Make sure my party dresses are fitted and steamed.
17. Stock up on apples, grapes, candy canes, pecans and chocolates.
18. Get Christmas cards and sign them with heartfelt words of love and well wishes inside.
19. Plan and prep for Christmas dinner.
20. Give Christmas smiles and hugs, to everyone who needs one and spread Christmas cheer everywhere I go during the holidays.
Christmas is an ultra-special time of year. Don’t waste a second of it waiting for a specific feeling. Sometimes, you can’t wait for the mood to start enjoying the season; you have to start enjoying the things that make Christmas special and that is that channels the Christmas Spirit–not just in you but in others around you as well.
By Thamar Jones