When does Christmas start for you? PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 11:02

I saw an interesting question posted on social media last week. The question read, “The Christmas season doesn’t officially begin for me until ____________. “

That’s a wonderful question, because everyone has that moment that just feels like Christmas.

We have friends of our family who begin to shift into Christmas mode the day after Halloween.

Others, like my wife don’t even want to begin to listen to Christmas music until there is at least a week gone in December.

I know people who decorate their tree as a family tradition on Christmas Eve and then they have it down and put away the morning after.

Growing up, my mom always liked to decorate the week after Thanksgiving and she would not, I repeat, WOULD NOT, take the decorations down until at least Jan. 2.

My mom, who I miss every day, but especially around this time of year, was so superstitious! She heard once that taking your decorations down any earlier then Jan. 2 would bring bad luck.

We would get bored on January 1 and ask to take them down and she would not allow it.

There is something very special about seeing the decorations go up, but there is also a nice feeling from seeing them come down and put away. We usually had school the first day after the new year, so by the time we got home, Christmas would be put away.

My wife and I aren’t really traditionalist. Our tradition as far as decorating is that we have no plan.

As I write this column on the morning of Dec. 15, some of our decorations are up, but the biggest project – the tree – still needs to be purchased.

We even debated not having a tree at all, but my youngest daughter Emily, who senses the season of change coming for our family as kids grow up, go off to college and move away, wanted us to put one up. Dad senses that too, and I agree!

Decorations are part of the tradition, but so are the TV shows and the movies that we only watch this time of year.

My personal all-time favorite is “A Christmas Story.”

I never wanted a Red Rider BB gun and don’t relate much to the lead character “Ralphie,” but I do relate to Ralphie’s dad because I too, “Am an Oldsmobile man.”

From leg lamps (does anyone say fragile anymore – it’s always frag-e-lee in my house), to the furnace on the fritz, to changing a tire with dad, nothing says Christmas to my heart and my house more than that movie.

Another movie that has become one of our family favorites over the years is “Elf.”

I friend of ours hosted an Elf party every year.

Some would dress up with elf ears and everyone would bring Holiday treats and we’d gather to fellowship and watch the movie “Elf.”

That movie is really a picture of our society as it relates to the holiday. There are the people in the movie who hate Christmas, there are others who are indifferent and then there are some, like “Buddy” the elf, who go bonkers over this Holiday.

Buddy says, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”

That is a good seg-way into another favorite tradition of mine, Christmas Carols.

I love to sing the Christmas songs and as I’ve grown and matured, so has my selection of favorite Christmas tunes.

As far as the songs we sing in church, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is my favorite, but I don’t see that as much as a Christmas song as a way we should live our life song.

Every day, if you are a person of faith, your goal should be to shout it on the mountain, that a Savior has been born to us.

Some of my other favorites Christmas hymns are “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.”

Then there are those songs that don’t speak to Christ and His birth, but are fun to sing and remind me of lots of good Christmas memories.

My all-time favorite of those songs is the Christmas Song by the “Chipmunks.” I know, I am 44, but nothing takes me back to childhood like hearing Alvin sing about wanting a Hula-hoop – “We can’t hardly stand the wait, please Christmas don’t delay.”

I also love Mariah Carey’s version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” A much younger, single-er version of myself used to imagine that she was singing that song about me!

Then finally, I will finish up with maybe my favorite holiday tradition – the food!

My all-time favorite holiday treats are chocolate covered pretzels (followed closely by a former co-workers lasagna). I love, love, love those pretzels! I know it may seem awkward for a big guy like myself to admit this, but I remember the first time I had ever tasted one! It was love the instance that salty-sweet mixture hit my tongue. I was hooked and every year since at Christmas, I crave them.

I also love the cookies and all the other sweets that come with the holidays!

The moment Christmas begins is different for everyone! If you are reading this, from the bottom of my heart, I hope this season brings, lots of laughs, lots of love, lots of music and especially lots of food. Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!

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