I’d like to risk some vulnerability and let all of you strangers out there in on a recent conflict in my marriage. You see, my favorite day of fall is the first day when it is noticeably cold outside (the “brrr” factor, as I’ve heard it called). On this day, I like to celebrate by putting on my favorite Christmas tunes. This year, it’s the wicked TSO CD that I got for Christmas last year and only got to enjoy for a couple of days.
I have a specific memory of when this became a cold-snap tradition of mine. The cold arrived in early October of my freshman year of college, and my soul was buoyant in anticipation of a much-needed breakup. I was driving to Temple to go to a football game with some friends, and the upbeat strains of Hanson’s Snowed In on my Jeep stereo matched my mood perfectly.
Ever since then, the first combination of holiday tunes, long sleeves, and brisk weather has been the highlight of my year. This day makes me dance around the house with Yuletide joy, yes, even in October.
But back to the conflict. You see, Stephen still holds to the antiquated, “don’t wear white shoes after Labor Day” belief that Christmas music is inappropriate until the day after Thanksgiving. He protests every time I start to belt out songs of holiday gladness, even as his own toes secretly tap underneath the table. He almost refused to be seen with me the other day when I wanted to wear my “’tis the season” long-sleeved shirt. He says I ruin the anticipation of the Advent season when I start it prematurely.
My argument is that I am getting my money’s worth out of my super-soft red shirt and my festive music. You’d think that this would appeal to my husband’s thrifty side. I also try to appeal to his inner minister when I claim that it is appropriate to celebrate the birth of Christ all year round. Stephen claims to be unmoved.
I say that, despite my indulgence in shirts and carols, I exercise a lot of restraint. I still have my fall decorations out, and I have not started lighting my cinnamon and clove candles yet. Also, I have saved all of my Christmas shopping for the “official” start of the season. Besides, listening to Christmas carols in October does not lessen my anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday (hello…I’m a teacher.)
I am aware that there are some holiday purists out there. But I don’t think I’m alone here. I’m following the immortal advice of “Uncle” Billy Mack…”If you really love Christmas, come on and let it show.” (or was it “snow”? oh, well.)