Go Ahead. Fa The La Las.

This is the year I take it all back. Eat my words. Stand in hypocrisy. Jump the fence. You know the words. I write them every year. Don’t let December holidays encroach upon November. Protect November! Let November stand in sovereignty. Keep the Christmas crap put away until after Thanksgiving. Abolish Black Friday. Yada yada yada; you’ve heard it every year from me, Grande Dame Scroogey McScroogepants. It’s my tradition to piss on yours; or, it was.

I take it back. It’s official. I take it all back. Put up your lights and wreaths and snowy villages and all the things. Drag it all out of the attic or the basement or wherever and put it up early. This year we obviously need it early and I am onboard. We need every twinkle. Every sparkle. Every glittery flake and sprig and twig. Go ahead. Fa the la las. I was wrong. You were right. I shall grinch no more; at least not this year.

I may still retain and maintain my perennial stance of anti-consumerism —especially this year — but if you’ve already got it, flaunt it. Please flaunt it. Even I need it early this year. Jingle it, garland it, light it up. We need every joyous chorus. All the gingerbread dwellings. Fake snowpeople on the green grass. Sleds where it never snows. Every pallet project bearing the words jolly, happy, and ho. The Griswald neighbors. The ugly sweaters. All of it. Get it out. Get it up. Get it on.

I never thought I say it, much less do it. I hauled out The Big Gay Yuletide tree to load it into my car. If you have forgotten, it’s an enormous fake tree with multi-colored (rainbow) lights. Out of fashion, so a former coworker was going to throw it away even though it is perfectly functional. I adopted it along with two mini-trees: a black one and a silver one. I’m working the day after Thanksgiving. The Big Gay Tidings tree is working with me. I’m erecting it at the office next week because the office doesn’t have one and I have three. The owner won’t spring for one and the weary workers want one so I stepped up. Me, Scroogey McScroogepants, volunteered to deck the halls. Early.

Getting it out of storage meant removing all the other Yuley items stored in its path of egress. The smaller trees, the lights, the boxes of ornaments, the ancient Claus and Merry Mouse I inherited from the dearly departed. Standing in the living room sorting and stacking, I beheld the most precious items of them all — the vintage toys which only come out at Yule — and I said fuck it. Instead of putting it all away for another week or two, this is the year I become one of those people.

Part of it was logical. Really, I swear. A toddler will be running around this year. He throws things. On purpose. It’s his favorite thing. Behold object, snatch object, examine object, heave object across the room and scream WOW! when it crashes and bashes. By taking the giant floor-to-ceiling tree to the office and mounting the smaller trees on tables out of his reach, I can bring some holiday joy to the work crew and reduce the ornament carnage at home with the same brilliant decision. So that’s how it started.

But in general I’ve done none of my usual clucking as the decorations have appeared early this year. Mercyburg’s annual parade has been canceled, along with all of the other community events. No group festivities. No choral gatherings. No photos with Santa. No carriages rides. So in response the city has begun festooning its structures early. Citizens are following suit and I confess I am here for it. I’m down with it. I’m doing it. I even bought more lights. Me, Scroogey Mc … well, you get it.

I think we all need to make all the magic we can make and enjoy every delight available to us this year. Hold nothing back. Make it pretty or gaudy or funny or spiritual or enchanting or cheese-tastic. Whatever makes our hearts sing and spirits lift, we need that. And we need it early and we need no judgment for needing it. Another confession; I’m not Hindu but I’m so starved for some beauty and light and sweetness I observed Diwali rituals this year. Respectfully, of course. Small in scale and private, of course. And I loved it and it probably opened doors in my heart to all the rest and to how this year it is a bona fide need. So I am all in.

I am retiring the McScroogepants. Join me. Let’s squeeze every drop of pleasure out of it this year, starting early and taking our time. I am going slow so I can enjoy it longer. The Black Swan tree and the Hi Ho Silver tree did not go back into the closet. I put their lights on them. I’m going to enjoy them naked with lights until the weekend and then maybe the ornaments. The ancient Claus and Merry Mouse handed down through the generations will see weeks of November they’ve never seen before. The vintage toys are out as well, to charm young and old with extra weeks of gaiety.

Whatever amplifies your joy this season, let yourself have it. Give it. Share it. Overload social media with it. Make videos. Send, project, or fling glee and merriment across the planet in any form you can. Receive it in any form you can. Relish it. Savor it. Do it shamelessly and cast no dispersions upon anyone else’s observance or lack thereof. Good will — let’s make it a thing. Wonder full — let’s do that too. Secular AND spiritual. Tacky AND classy. Traditional. Contemporary. Whatever. Let’s just enjoy the hell out of it this year.

— Mercy

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