Haters gon’ hate. I know all the purists will be disturbed to see — what shall we call this? “cheer”? — so early in the season. I get it. I do.
Okay, maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ve worked in retail too long. Maybe I’m a little obsessed with the Holidays. I love Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice. I love the food, the lights, the music, the classic stories by Dickens, Capote, et al, and yes, the schmaltz. It’s all good — to me.
Every year, when the new ornaments first appear in the Gift Department, I get a little giddy. I love all the pretty little birds, the glass spacemen in their delicate rocket-ships, the wooden hedgehogs, the shiny. Love the shiny.
Every year I tell myself I will not buy more ornaments for what will be, after all, an already laden and not very big tree, and then, every year, I buy more. (Last year I did finally retire some of my older ornaments that I liked less, particularly those in themes no longer likely to be used again. Cows, for example. I had a lot of cows: cows in Santa hats, cows with wreaths ’round their necks, angel cows, wise-men cows — alot o’ cows.)
I’m a sucker now for those pretty little glass birds. Might be a whole tree soon with just those little glass birds.
And yes, I am already listening to some Holiday music. I can hear the collective groan out there in the wide world. I’m not talking Jungle Bells here. A wonderful composer, Sir John Tavener, just died, at 69 — far too soon. Last night I was listening to some of his glorious choral music, and yes, some of it was composed for the season.
And, yes again, I’m already reading Holiday stories. Every year for some years now, I’ve read Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory at the bookstore, come December. I will again, Thursday, December 12th, at 7PM. And every year, for an encore, I read another Holiday piece; a short story usually, or a poem or two, by the likes of Ogden Nash. The Capote is a beautiful thing, an American classic, full of humor and sentiment, but also suffused with the melancholy of remembered happiness and regret. One does not necessarily want to send the good people home on such a sad note, so I try to find something to read after, something more specifically funny, even silly, to end the evening on a lighter note. The search, as they say, is on.
Forgive me then if I’m already in the mood. I know it is early yet, and you may not want to hear about it. Really though, it is part of the job. That it happens to be my favorite part, my favorite reading, certainly, and my favorite season — well, I understand if that’s just me.
(Come on now, admit it, how can you not like all that new shiny?)
Premature Season’s Greetings!