This is the season of a lifetime passing you by…
…If you haven’t heard that Christmas song (Plain White T’s) — look it up. I can almost guarantee that it’s going to get stuck in your head for the next day or so!
It’s finally Christmas season!
Call me old fashioned, but I firmly believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. For me, Christmas season kicks off on Black Friday. I worked retail in college — before “Black Friday” became “4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day” — so I always started the holidays by heading to the mall and clocking in at about 3 a.m. to begin the season. I absolutely loved it. I don’t work retail anymore, but the tradition stuck. I start my season by Black Friday shopping, and then decorating my apartment while drinking cranberry wine!
To be honest, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started celebrating Christmas as an entire season.
And now, I try to fill the season with as many merry activities as I can.
I’ve always had a very small family. My now-22-year-old sister was the youngest for almost two decades, until my dad’s sister’s son and his wife had two (absolutely adorably flawless) young boys.
So for my entire childhood, we had exactly one family dinner. In fact, I didn’t realize there was an entire season dedicated to Christmas until I got to college, and my friends started talking about how they had to schedule out different dinners and parties for different sides of the families over holiday break. I was mind blown.
Because, that’s not how it was for me. The Shaffer/ Patrick/ Riggs family has always had one single celebration. My mom’s side, my dad’s side, one dinner. And that dinner was always held on Christmas Day.
And? I always hyped up that day so much that it was almost always a letdown.
When I was younger, maybe it was a letdown because I didn’t get a certain toy I wanted. As a teenager, maybe it was because my favorite cousin couldn’t spend the holiday with us, or because it didn’t snow. When I was in college, once it was because my parents opted to get a two-foot mini tree instead of the real deal that I had always grown up with. And of course, let’s not forget about that one year I had to work a reporting shift on Christmas. Not that it actually ended up mattering… because every single member of my family ended up with the flu that year, and Christmas was entirely canceled. I know a lot of this seems trivial… aaaand that’s because it totally was. Growing up tends to put things in perspective and make you realize what a brat you used to be.
It hasn’t been until the last few years that I’ve started to kind of step away from putting all this pressure on one day and have started celebrating Christmas as an entire season, doing things I never did growing up.
I still can’t get on board with kicking off the Christmas season on Nov. 1. But, filling up 25 give-or-take-a-few days with holiday activities definitely makes Christmas more enjoyable than one entirely pressure-filled day. I’ve already started checking the boxes off on my seasonal to do list, and I can’t wait to celebrate a little bit of Christmas every day for the next month.