By Justin Mezzell
October 8, 2008
As Iâ€™m plummeting deeper into my semi-professional life, leaving a wake of sophomoric skepticism behind to embrace an all-new and slightly matured sense of cynicism (itâ€™s just more socially admirable with that tone), Iâ€™m realizing that my sense of time and the associations therein just arenâ€™t lining up with everyone elseâ€™s. Itâ€™s not just the pace of my speech or the way that Iâ€™m consistently fifteen to fifty minutes late to everything. This has more to do with a time of year than a particular time of day. Now you can downplay your initial assumptions on the subject but just between you and I, weâ€™re both thinking the same thingâ€”the Christmas season.
I understand this is a touchy subject. Iâ€™m more than aware that some of you are the kinds of people that canâ€™t stand the hype of the holidays or the hustle and bustle of last-minute Christmas scrambles. I also know that nowâ€™s a bit early to talk about it. That being said, itâ€™s still not going to deter me from openlyâ€”and flamboyantly, mind youâ€”declaring my love for the spirit of the season. An exaggeration this may be, but to my inner calendar, I judge the passing of days by how close it actually is to Christmas. Itâ€™s not the commercialism that gets me all wrapped up (no pun intended there) or even the audio samplings of modern rock bands going all cheery and singing classic hymns for the season (Nickelback, donâ€™t you DARE tread on this territory). Itâ€™s not even really bad Christmas movies that B-grade celebrities finally get a chance to star as a lead in (oh, Randy Quaidâ€¦). To me, thereâ€™s just something different about the whole feel of this special time of year.
Growing up, my mother had always made such a big deal out of being festive and enjoying everything about Christmas time. I still have memories of mounting the crest of branches to attach a star onto our week-long masterpiece of a tree. Recollections of Christmas music still come to mind and I feel as if Iâ€™ve heard them enough to be on a first name basis with Sinatra himself. That, coupled with the smell of a motherâ€™s good cooking during the holidays, is just about enough to turn me into a Christmas evangelistâ€”and that was before Sufjan even came out with his amazing Songs for Christmas: Volumes I â€“ V (plug most certainly intended)!
But maybe youâ€™re not fully convinced. Perhaps Christmas for you consists of little more than an earache induced by Louis Armstrong and the haze of a surprisingly strong eggnog that your brother fixed for you under the veil of the kitchen. Well, consider some of the perks of the coming season. In Florida, December to mid-February is close to the only time we get to wear more than two layers of clothing (as men, at least) and not shed a pound from the front door to the car. That, to me, spells hoodie. All day, everyday. Which further translates into multiple outings of the same shirt without the unneeded wash and social excommunication.
I find myself slowly phasing Christmas songs into my iTunes mixes like a guilty pleasure. Meanwhile, the moment my roommates hear the chime of silver bells or the cheerful piano kings ringing out jingles of the yuletide cheer, theyâ€™re yelling at me to turn it off like Iâ€™ve just the brought the plague into our apartment and am forcefully infecting the air ducts. So we made a dealâ€”come October 31st, 11:59pmâ€”the music begins. The bells chime. The smell of the Christmas tree (thanks, Febreeze Winter Scents) and cinnamon will weave through the air like a merry serpent of seasonal greetings. But until that time, Iâ€™ll be transfixed. Waiting to be released from this tomb of monotony.
Just be ready, world.
When Christmas comes, it comes to stayâ€¦ at least until the 26th.
(NOTE: If any film studio would be interested in purchasing the rights to that last line as a tagline for a Halloween/horror cross-over film, Iâ€™d be happy to negotiate.)