8:30 pm Sunday. December 23rd.
It's the eve of Christmas Eve - I've got a load of laundry in the washer and I am avoiding the nagging chore of wrapping the pile of Christmas gifts in my living room.
This Christmas holiday has been a long time coming, don't you agree?
I suppose it started way back when I saw decorations and life size, animatronic Santa Claus robots set up in the Hyde Park Kroger - about a week before Halloween.
To be honest, I had Christmas on the brain when I went on vacation in September/October. I started buying presents for my family while trolling London's Portobello Road this autumn. I'd pick up a gift here and a trinket there in between my pub stops and forays in cultural exploration - and I've been shopping ever since.
Somewhere between the presents and the Christmas cookies and the fun festivities - I forgot to take some time for myself.
My house literally looks like a pit.
My hair is a stringy mess.
And I am exhausted.
I guess I am tired of celebrating a season that's been extended by our friends in Corporate America.
I remember when I loved Christmas. I loved cutting out snowflakes in my second grade class. I loved riding the train at the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights. I loved making decorations for our family tree in Sunday School.
I have an inkling that back in the late 70s and early 80s, all those Christmas-related activities were relegated to the month of December.
These days people start shopping for their pre-lit fake artificial trees around August.
The ambitious types start stringing the lights around their house in June.
Does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that these are the same people who plow through crowds of pedestrians, riddled with road rage, while trying to navigate the local mall parking lot the week before Christmas?
Yes, Andy Williams. It is the most wonderful time of the year. But there IS such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I think we've finally hit our limit of too much Christmas. The stress, the obligations, the complete excess - it totally detracts from the spirit of this holiday (the reason for the season, as I heard a preacher say on television while flipping through the channels this morning).
I will start officially celebrating Christmas with my family after I put in a full day at work tomorrow. We're having dinner at the homestead in Symmes Township and then we'll attend Christmas Eve mass at the church where I made my first communion and confirmation.
Then it's back home for cocoa and presents before hitting the sack - I've got to go back in to work Christmas Day. Then it's back to Mom and Dad's for Christmas Dinner and a quiet night in.
And then Christmas will be over, and I must say, I'm kind of glad.
Because then it's on to celebrating New Year's for a week.
Gosh. That holiday totally gets cheated.