And so, just like that, the dreaded holidays are upon us again. I know this because:
- The radio station that plays holiday music from Thanksgiving to January is playing Christmas carols
- There is Great Lakes Christmas Ale in my refrigerator
- My family and in-laws descended upon casa de Puddin this week for the ritual roasting, dismantling, and ravenous consumption of turkey
- Homes in my neighborhood appear to be teeming with festive, colored lights
- My wife is away from home for long periods of time and returns at strange hours with tales of shopping lunacy
- The balance of my bank account appears to be dwindling rapidly (see above)
- I haven’t gone to work for four days
Item 7 means that either I have some form or plague and should be putting my affairs in order, it’s the summer and I’m on vacation, or the holidays have officially begun. I didn’t visit a pool of any kind, so that rules out the vacation, and I don’t think I’m dying. Thus, it must be time for some hot holiday action.
And yes, I could have consulted a calendar, but why start doing that now?
At any rate, for many people, the advent of the holidays will mean much wailing and gnashing of teeth. After all, there are gifts to be gathered, cookies to be baked, parties and events to be attended (with bonus(!) lampshades to wear), and a display of general merriment to be put on in the face of one of the most stressful times of the year.
I personally think that stress business is hogwash. People need to find a way to relax a little bit and enjoy their Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus with more vigor and less freaking out. But that’s another post.
Either way, I was in contemplation of our fresh, new holiday season Saturday night when I realized two important things. First, there was quite a chill in the air; in fact, it was downright cold. It was a warning that Old Man Winter isn’t be far off, with his sharp claws, gleaming teeth, and bad attitude.
In the past, I’ve rambled poetically about my general, relatively newish dislike of winter. In the old days I didn’t care if it was cold or snowy, but now that I’m older, have to shovel my own driveway, and still need to get to work, well, things are different. With that in mind, the second key thing I realized was that the holidays are the only good part of the winter-type season. Ole Saint Nick loves him a nice bed of new-fallen snow and it’s way nice to have a stiff nog to warm you deep down on a crisp, chill December night.
Last I checked, though, most of the great holiday-based accessories and activities will be gone by January 5th, leaving nothing but two months of gray skies, dirty slush, and overcoats in their wake.
So we should find a way to enjoy everything about it while we can.
Thus, I decided last night that the time had come for the season’s first fire. It was bright, strong, warm, cheery, and just downright cozy. It looked like this:
Now tell me that that’s not some Days of Our Lives log-burnin’ right there!
And no matter how disturbing the Puddinette finds seeing my feet on display to the whole of the internets, I feel compelled to offer proof that my toes were nice and toasty. It was a lovely fire, indeed.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the cold, wintry months are upon us. Let us gather together, then, and agree that we will squeeze every last drop of juicy goodness out of our holidays this year, and not give in to the frozen, dread fear of the Januarys.
At least until after New Year’s and we realize it’s cold and there’s nothing fun to do until spring.
For now, let the revelry (and toasty warm fires) commence!