Moving from my parent’s house to a uni house has completely altered my view on Christmas. The holiday itself still holds the same magic, but the way it manifests and infects my everyday life is something that has changed significantly.
My mother is a big fan of Christmas. She ensures that she stuffs every single extra bit of magic into the festive season as possible. She makes her own advent calendars, overfills stockings for all the extended family, has Christmas Eve boxes, and keeps the Christmas music channel on continuously as soon as it appears. My father, on the other hand, is not as big a fan. He does still love the meaning behind it all, but doesn’t seem too keen on pine needles covering the floor at any point in November. We would battle him to let us get a tree early, and I would spend many nights wishing to Santa Claus that we would be able to go to the farm and get one the next day. Christmas was decorations, it was light, it was magic.
University has been very different. In halls, we had a strict no-decorations-until-December-1st rule in place. The night-of was filled with jolly songs and tinsel, and it was a joyous experience to finally be able to open my door and not feel embarrassed about listening to Don’t shoot me, Santa on my own. This year, in a house, I was expecting more. There are more people, so more sway, and therefore it would be more likely that Christmas would be coming early. Halfway through November, and still no Christmas.
To me, the tzsuj of Yule is something that is really quite necessary. I know that Christmas isn’t for everyone and some people don’t enjoy it, but it is very paramount to my own wellbeing that the blockiness and dullness of everyday life is expunged for a month or more every year. Praying on one month of the year isn’t enough to sustain a person’s happiness, but it does remind everyone that good times are round the corner.
As a child, I was in a less democratic position than I am now. My father would have the final word and the decorations would come down when he said so. As a student, there is that democracy, but with a vote of nays crushing my dreams. When I couldn’t vote, I didn’t care because there wasn’t anything I could say to change that. Now that I can, I want my Christmas and I want it November-style.
Sure, the shops prepare themselves too early. Halloween isn’t even past and yet Christmas has overtaken it. People who have worked in retail say they really hate the festive season because it means queues and busyness and rudeness, but surely this year that can’t entirely be the case? Shops are almost closed and we are mostly left to enjoy at our own leisure without constant reminders of certain things that we normally hate this time of year.
So, why all the Grinchy-ness? Why can’t we celebrate earlier? What good reason is there that we can’t instill a little bit more magic in an everyday that is so full of the same four walls and the same curtains being shut at 5pm? As soon as I’ve watched the first Hallmark Christmas film of the year, then my celebrations have already begun, so why not come and join? The grass, and the fake pine, are pretty green over here, too.