Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Season!

It snowed the other day. And while most of you groaned and grumbled, I plain burst into smiles. Although I don't like being cold (my hydro bill likely displays that largely) I do absolutely love the snow. This time of year is so festive for me, and it all starts round about the beginning of October.

Do you remember being a kid, back in grade three or four, all festive seasons brought with them lots and lots of crafts, glorious crafts! Glitter and glue and sticky paper chains. Not just any glue, but the amber coloured kind in the little clear plastic bottle with the red rubber top that was always gummed up from the previous season's crafts.

Halloween was the first of the super fun, crafty seasons. It felt like all day we could sit at our desks creating works of art that we knew were better than anything any adult would find in any grand gallery. The memories of paper pumpkins and shoebox haunted houses fill me with so much warm love. The tall windows of our classrooms stuck haphazardly with coloured construction paper.

As Halloween grew nearer, then began the anticipation of the big night, and the costume. My mom would labour for a week over my, and my brother's, costumes. These were no cheap satin pre-made numbers from Value Village, she would personally pick out fabrics from that old fabric store on McLaughlan with the circle window in the front. After days of threads, pins and patterns, my brother and I would emerge in bright green and blue clown suits complete with pompoms and rosy red, lipsticked circles on our cheeks. I would be smiling, and my brother would be crying...until the first gumball was dropped into his bag, and those tears were quickly no longer!

Halloween still brings back all of these warm feelings based on the memories of these times; I melt at the sight of a crooked hilltop house surrounded by bats. The October heartwarming session flows perfectly into the beginning of that coveted, special season: Christmastime.

For some people, the very word 'Christmas' evokes stress, anger, upset and frazzle-dazzle (a new word perhaps?) but I happen to have a not-so-secret love affair with this time of year. This is much to the dismay of Shayne, but I admit, he is wonderful at allowing me my fun (as long as he doesn't have to hear more than one carol per day).

Is it so bad to want to put up my tree now? It has snowed once already this year, and it's damned cold out there which I think warrants a Christmas tree no? The word 'tree' does not properly describe my 'tree' though. My 'tree' is a tiny, foot tall cluster of green plastic, so squashed and destroyed for having spent 15 years in boxes and closets, but no matter. Come mid-November this little guy (that only needs a little love) pops out of the closet, it's pre-strung lights ready to be plugged in for instant Christmas gratification.

I recall one Christmas Eve, way back in time at our house on Elliott street. This would have put me around four years old. I was alone in the living room, falling asleep on the couch in front of the Christmas tree. In my memory, I was sleeping there that night, and everyone else had gone to bed. I was on the couch in anticipation of Santa Claus's arrival as I did not want to miss him, but at the same time, I was absolutely terrified of actually seeing him. I had my little face buried in my little hands, with my eyes squeezed tightly shut. Every now and then I'd peek out from behind my fingers (the way we all do during scary movies) to see if Santa was there in front of me. I was always a mixture of sad and relieved when he was not. This continued on until I fell asleep, and finally woke up. In my own bed. Looking back I can see that my parents were humouring me by letting me think I was big enough to sleep in the living room, but then swiftly carrying me off to bed when I actually fell asleep. To this day, my parents insist on keeping the Santa gifts securely hidden until after my brother and I have gone to bed, so we can still be surprised on Christmas morning. We'er 30 & 32 years old respectively. That's awesome spirit-keeping-aliving!

These days, one of the first things I'm looking forward to (other then the city turning into a giant Christmas conglomeration santa snow-globe) is my own personal tradition. For the past five years or so, I take a day to myself after all the gifts have been purchased, and I wrap them all while sitting on the floor, and watching "Bridget Jones' Diary". This is my Christmas movie, now even beyond "A Christmas Story" and "Christmas Vacation". My little date with Bridget melts my heart every time, and it's only seven weeks until this day comes, and I plan on savouring every moment of these weeks! And with that, merry early Christmas! ...but don't judge me for that.

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