Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting in the mood

Since I moved to California fourteen Christmases ago, I have the same problem that Joanna was talking about earlier in the week: how to get in the holiday spirit absent snow, cold, and ice.

Let me be up front. This story does not end with me jetting off to Washington DC to be photographed with Angela Lansbury. Angela, my hairdresser, maybe.

As for Christmas, I pretend that it doesn't matter that I can pick out a tree in an outdoor lot without losing the feeling in my feet and hands. I try not to scoff at neighbors who put up outdoor lights in their shirt sleeves. It's not their fault it's sixty degrees out. I giggle at the carolers outside the grocery store singing of Frosty and sleigh bells in their shorts.

Let's face it. It's not the same. Baking cookies is really just a ploy to get the house warm and cozy. Hot chocolate is hot for a reason. I've never run my air conditioner on Christmas day, but it's always a possibility.

Thanksgiving helps, as do the frenzied ads for Black Friday. I play plenty of Christmas songs. I buy new albums every year. This year it was Shelby Lynne and the cast of Glee. I attend Christmas brunches and exchange gifts, no matter that palm trees sway in the background.

The best part of Christmas - the attitude - isn't dependent on weather or evergreens. I can feel the pace slowing as we all make time for shopping, parties and wrapping. As we look for the perfect gift, we bring to mind our loved ones, basking in the glow of reflected love. We keep them in the foreground, imagining the look of surprise on their face when they open our gift. Hoping we give them a little joy.

It's why we wish we could have Christmas year 'round. Jingle all the way.


Dru said...

One of the things I like about the Christmas season is people appear to be more friendly and accommodating. More "thank yous," and "please." It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Terri Thayer said...

Dru, I find that too. People are happier, even though they're rushed and frazzled. During the week I spent on Long Island over Thanksgiving, I had the door held open for me so often, I forgot how to open one myself.

Monica Ferris said...

It's true that the Christmas spirit is infectious. I think that having it just for the season makes the season more precious, so I'm not sure I'd like it year round. (Reading that statement over, I'm not sure I'm right.)

Terri Thayer said...

Not sure either, Monica. Seems like the social pendulum is swinging to the nasty, so a bit more Christmas spirit could go a long way.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree that it's not the weather but the attitude and people that make this time of year wonderful, Terri. I think I agree with Monica, though. Attempting to keep up the warmth and spirit all the time probably would not work, and if it did it the season wouldn't stand out as special.

Betty Hechtman said...

I used to have a hard time with Christmas and California weather. Not anymore, particularly after just coming back from Chicago weather. It's a lot easier to enjoy all those holiday lights when you're not freezing