Christmas Spirit: Why One Dad Gave It All UpSerge Bielanko
A few years ago, I was trying hard to not like Christmastime as much as I always do.
It just started seeming a bit childish to me, I guess.
My whole “Christmas Spirit” thing had me listening to holiday music pretty much non-stop starting at Thanksgiving. And my predilection for hunting down and displaying old plastic Santa Clauses finally came back to haunt me in the form of a perfectly rationale and normal wife who didn’t really seem to find it all that amusing that I wanted to clutter up the book shelves and even the kitchen counter with kitschy junk atop a field of cotton (snow!).
I was slowly coming to my senses, I swear.
Year after year, I began to try and step outside of myself the best I could and take a long hard look at why I might have been a bit too “jolly” whenever Christmas came around.
“You’re latching onto something fantastical and sparkly, dude,” I assured myself. “You’re jumping on the biggest grown-up child bandwagon you can find, because that’s exactly what you are.”
Then, begrudgingly, I added: “It’s time to grow up.”
So, I figured that I would need to tone down my Yuleness a bit. Maybe streamline the decorating, go with something more mature and minimalist (i.e. “sucky”) instead of the overwrought tacky Griswold look (i.e. “awesomeness”) that I’d been perpetuating since I was like 11.
With some introspection and a firm but nostalgic “farewell,” I believed that I was bidding au revoir to my Crazy Christmas years.
But then came that big fat hanging curveball I never really saw coming: my daughter was born.
A petite and precious dollop of wonder fell down into my lap and I held her tight and stared down into her twinkling eyes as she smiled (gas?) up at me and my whole damn plan crumbled like a corn chip castle. Connecting with her there, even in her very first hours of life down here, eye-to-eye, cheek-to-bristle, I started getting really excited about the prospect of her first Christmas.
And she was born three weeks after the big holiday, which meant we had a helluva long way to go. But still.
Looking back on everything now, I can see what happened clearly. Think about it. I gave my brightly-lit tinsel-draped version of the Christmas Spirit up willingly once upon a time, for three weeks, just long enough to accommodate the notion that I’d outgrown my childish ways; that it was time to ‘man up’ and let go of all the silliness.
Deep down in my unconscious conscious though, I knew damn-right-well what I was doing, huh?
I quit being Christmas Crazy so that I could say that I did it, but I knew it would never last, not when there was an entirely new generation of potential converts waiting in the wings for me to show them how it was done…with lots of colored-lights and shimmering Dollar Store garlands and two or three drunk-looking Santa Clauses sitting high atop giant red mushrooms peering down upon a kingdom of magic that only comes once a year.
So, what can I say?
I failed. Miserably.
This year the living room looks…well…ridiculous.
But there’s two little “elves” living here these days, two “true believers” born into this twisted tale of “candy cane this” and ‘”North Pole that.”
And so yeah, there’s just no turning back now.
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