I loved Christmas as a child, it was the most magical time of the year. The lights, the smell of the tree, the decorations that we used again and again every year. It was all the traditions our family had and the build up to such a special day. In Australia we have Christmas Beetles that come out in the warm weeks before Christmas, they signal that Christmas is on it’s way. They appear in DECEMBER. Not November. Not October or even September. December. Cause that’s when Christmas is.
Too much of a good thing spoils it. Too much Chocolate makes you sick (apparently), too much alcohol makes you an annoying drunk and too much Christmas makes it lose it’s magic. Today I was teaching my students about the seasons and how each season is three phases of the moon, and I realised that people have started to say “the christmas SEASON”, thinking that it needs to go for three months. It doesn’t. In terms of Jesus and the liturgical year, the season of Christmas actually starts when Jesus is born so please don’t try to use that one (someone did try that).
My eldest son used to be obsessed with Christmas, like actually obsessed ALL YEAR LONG! I remember a psychologist who assessed him for Autism (he had a lot of traits) dismissed this as an obsession like some children on the Spectrum who may be obsessed with trains or cars because “everyone likes Christmas”. But this wasn’t a like, this was off the chart. He dressed like Santa or one of the elves all year in all types of weather. He created reindeer and sleighs from whatever he could. In his first year of primary school he borrowed a Christmas book every single week, I didn’t actually know there were that many Christmas books but there really are. After Christmas we would box up all the Christmas DVDs and tape the box up so that he couldn’t get inside because they
drove us crazy were losing their sparkle, they weren’t special anymore. And that is exactly how I feel about Christmas now, it’s too much way too soon and it is losing it’s sparkle.
We had to distract him with The Wiggles to wean him off his obsession. We wanted him to understand that it was a special time that only lasted for a short time. Like all good things, it’s only good in moderation. It should feel exciting and magical and not be annoying and make me want to punch myself in the face.
So this year I hit the shops in September and look what I found…
This was September 14 and those there are Christmas decorations. I took a photo and was very vocal about my feelings at starting the Christmas cheer when I still have 10kgs to lose before Christmas. This is offensive. My legs aren’t summer ready and you’re doing this to me? Enough is enough. It was bad enough in October, but this is horrendous.
Everywhere I look there’s Christmas paraphernalia, it’s been there for weeks and it’s October. I’m pretty sure no one really notices it anymore and that’s exactly what I’m talking about. It should be exciting. It should fill us with that feeling that only Christmas can bring, instead we turn our heads and pretend we can’t see it because, well, it’s October.
We go away in our Caravan every year just after Christmas. It’s our favourite family holiday with a big bunch of awesome friends. This year we booked to go away before Christmas with the great plan of coming home for Christmas day then back to our holiday. When we planned all this we were thinking that we could set everything up before Christmas and then, I’m ashamed to say these words came out of my Christmas loving mouth, “we can get Christmas over with and head back to our trip”. When I heard those words come out of my mouth I was ashamed. That’s not how I feel about the most wonderful time of the year. And as Oprah would say, that was my “aha” moment.
So this year Christmas is starting when I say so. Not the shops, but when I say it can. This past year on my journey of balance I’ve been focusing on living in the moment, being mindful, not wishing my life away. So this year I’m going to soak up all the Christmas spirit, every ounce of Christmas cheer is going to be radiating out of me but only when the Christmas Beetles arrive. I’m going to enjoy the build up, hum to the carols in the shops and enjoy Christmas time when it’s actually Christmas time and really enjoy it, not simply endure it. After all, we all know that once that arrives the Easter eggs will be on our shelves before we know it. See you in December Christmas!