For us, the "season" officially starts after the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are finished, including all that gelled cranberry stuff that ends up in the dog's bowl or someone's unlucky lunch box. It's at this point that my husband has the urge to gas up the mommy mobile and head for the Ozarks to hibernate for a month, just to avoid putting up the Christmas lights.
Twenty-three rubber storage bins loaded with what my husband fondly refers to as "Christmas crap" are nestled under the rafters in our attic. Baby Jesus is still sleeping up there, alongside Frosty The Snowman, Santa and a wire reindeer with a bum leg. Something got into the attic last year and ate the Three Wise Men, but the way my husband sees it, that's one less box of crap to haul down from the attic. I don't know why he complains so much---all he has to do is decorate our lawn with thousands of LED lights so that it's bright enough to be seen by NASA from the sky. I'm the one who is always stuck doing the indoor decorations, which includes a motion-activated Santa and a drunk-looking reindeer that shakes his hips and sings,"Shake Your Booty!" Then there's all the twinkling Christmas characters I bought several years ago during my fiber optics craze. I also have to assemble an entire village with little lighted houses, shops and Christmas carolers.
Once the tree is up and the house is decorated inside and out, the extensive shopping list is next to be tackled. This is my LEAST favorite part of Christmas. I'd prefer to recline on the couch with a glass of spiked egg nog rather than wait in the long lines at department stores at 3:00 a.m. when all the zombies from The Walking Dead come out to feast. Maybe if the store managers offered people little cups of spiked egg nog while they waited in line, no one would ever complain again.
Next comes the party circuit that lasts several weekends in December. I always start off the holiday festivities in something sexy and black with strappy little heels. By the end of the month, I'm popping fiber pills by the dozens to counteract the alcohol and high calorie appetizers I've been grazing on at all the parties and swapping heels for bathroom slippers because my toes are permanently damaged from being jammed into stilettos every weekend.
As the 25th of December draws near, I'm forced to max out my credit card on Scotch tape, bows and wrapping paper. By Christmas eve I've gone into my frenzied, gift wrapping mode without the aid of the Keebler Elves.
When Christmas day finally arrives, I'm always dismayed by the amount of pine needles that have already fallen off my tree. I can never vacuum fast enough to catch them all because they multiply overnight like rabbits. I'll even find a stray pine needle or two while I'm decorating the house for our Fourth Of July celebration.
After living on a diet of rum cakes and gingerbread men, I'm ready to start my New Year's resolution to lose weight. This usually lasts two to three days, then it's back to my old menopausal ways of being cranky, hungry, hot flashy, tired and impatient.
Why oh why can't they sell spiked egg nog all year 'round?!?