We are in “the holiday season.” It’s the one thing that wrecks winter. To make things worse, it comes earlier and earlier every year. I mostly just hold on until January second and savor the islands of non-holiday that pop up from time to time during this strange nightmare.
What’s wrong with it? Mainly, it’s just too long. Even the local thrift store closed its doors two weeks ago to put out the Christmas stuff. Mid-October? Christmas starts with Halloween which is, itself, now a pretty big “holiday.”
Here’s how I think it should be.
Halloween should return to being ONE night when 20 somethings have parties and kids go trick-or-treating. The next day everything goes back to normal. The 20 somethings have hangovers, and the kids have bellyaches.
Then, all is quiet until a few days before Thanksgiving when mom deliberates whether to buy a frozen or fresh turkey or who wants turkey anyway? Let’s have ham. Or something. That lasts for a weekend and by Sunday everyone is thoroughly sick of each other and turkey.
Then the biggie rolls around, but not until around December 12 or so. “Should we get a tree?” pops into the conversation. A tree is procured, decorations are dragged out, the tree is decorated, presents are bought and everything moves toward the moment in which visions of sugar-plums dance around in the kids’ heads.
Yesterday a Plow & Hearth catalog arrived in my mailbox. It makes an impossible promise — “225 NEW ways to celebrate” (not likely). These “ways” are “things,” stuff that made it through Trump’s tariffs. All this stuff is available to all of us to make our holidays great again. I don’t really KNOW how a battery operated candle in a jar with a cardinal painted on the front is going to transform anything permanently.
Is happiness measured in stuff? I mean really? I got both miserable and happy yesterday and there was no “stuff” involved. I queried an agent I really wanted to represent my book. She answered positively, asking for the first fifty pages of The Schneeballs (ha ha) go to America. I sent it. Yay!
I got an email yesterday declining the manuscript. THAT’s when I saw I’d spelled her name wrong.
Nothing like being relentlessly confronted with one’s flaws.
What was there to do (besides self-loathing) but head out with Bear into the big open. We walked, enjoyed the remaining snow, the light, the snowy mountains and were met by three mule deer does who’d been foraging on some half-frozen alfalfa in a fallow field.
Thanks nature for making it all better. ❤
I came home and pondered where else to send the Schneebelis and decided to send it to a publisher who specializes in books about Mennonites and Amish, Swiss family history, etc. No word yet. I’m, meanwhile, formatting the book to self-publish it. It’s something to do that could lead to a pretty book, anyway. And really how important is it? It isn’t.
As for me, I don’t know what my holidays will bring. I’m pretty broke after the expenses of the summer, but I’ll be taking a turkey to the food bank. I have the feeling that my holidays are going to be me, the dogs, country roads, maybe a tea party, and, god-willing snow without -20 temps. Maybe even the opportunity to X-country ski. I plan to celebrate Thanksgiving at the Sand Dunes. ❤
Thanks for reading my Scroogeish rant.