As I have previously mentioned, even though I am married to an elf, and am surrounded by multiple elfin children, at my core, I am one of the most bah humbugiest people you will ever meet. However, I do like Christmas. I know that seems contradictory, but it’s true. The time leading up to Christmas is super stressful and insanely busy, and I would love to just skip the whole tree decorating debacle I seem to experience every freaking year (did I mention the lights went out again FOUR TIMES? Yep, fun), but Christmas itself is basically enjoyable. Family and friends celebrating with food and drink (lots and lots of drink) and just hanging out and generally enjoying each other’s company? Oh, and did I mention a full week off of work? Yep, good times, sign me up.
My husband has a large family. He is the youngest of 5, and all of his siblings not only have kids, but some have grandkids. That’s right, I’m a great-aunt, y’all. And one of my nephews is actually a year older than me. ‘Tis true. So each holiday is a huge event, with a house full of his raucous and insane family (please refer back to our summer vacation shenanigans for a small sampling of said insanity). And each sibling (save one, who has abstained) is tasked with hosting a holiday at their home, thus splitting up the duties throughout the family. Our holiday is Christmas Eve. And I know what you’re saying, it’s not an actual holiday. But the tradition in his family, for years before I even arrived on the scene, was for everyone to go to church and then go over someone’s house for dinner and drinks before going home for the next morning’s prep. We inherited it when we started dating and bought a house, since it was previously the other sibling’s, but she opted out of hosting it anymore.
Since we have to be the hosts with the mosts on Xmas Eve, the house has to be all decorated, we have to have food and lots and lots of drinks (did I mention his family is Irish? Yeah), and get into a holly jolly festivus spirit. Which is plenty easy for my hubs, but takes a bit more work for me. How do I do it? Well, I’m glad you asked. Mostly booze . . . just kidding. Sort of. A little. Well . . . ahem. Anyway . . .
One of the main ways that I can try to force myself to start feeling a bit more festive is by listening to Christmas music. But not just any ole Christmas music. It will not do to just start listening to those radio stations that play nothing but Holiday music from the day after Thanksgiving up until New Years. That just grates on my nerves, to be honest. No, it has to be my Xmas music.
Years ago . . . back when people used to make mix CDs on their computers (remember that? God, I’m old), I made a few compilation disks to play in the car around the holidays. One was an all instrumental disk (a lot of Kenny G), one was full of classics, like Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee, there was a Country Xmas disk, one had a bunch of more recent Springsteen and U2 type popular Xmas tunes, and then there was Mod Xmas. This disk was full of more obscure and really really recent Xmas songs that I felt had a certain vibe to them. And this disk is the first one I listen to to get me in the Christmas mood.
The first song on it is called Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas. For some reason it just fills me with a sense of calm and peace. And puts me in the Xmas spirit. It is an obscure song that most people have probably never heard of and believe me, it was super hard to even find to put on the disk. When I got it, the artist was just listed as “E.” Years later, I discovered that he is actually the lead singer of the Eels, and there is also a non acoustic version of this song out there that was used on The OC soundtrack. So you might have heard a version of this song afterall. However, my heart belongs to this acoustic version that was my first experience of the song. I don’t actually care for the electric upbeat version.
Oh, and the second song on the disk? Pearl Jam’s Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time). Yeah, that pretty much sums up how I feel after everyone invades my home on Xmas Eve!!
What is the one thing that finally gets you in the spirit of the holidays? Is it booze? Can I have some?
And don’t forget to enter my most recent contest . . . for all sorts of fun Holiday prizes!! Also, if you want a holiday card from me, email me your address at mistySlaws at gmail dot com. My kids will pick a name for the prizes this weekend, and I will be sending out cards for a couple more days, so get on it people!! Cheers!