Ever see one of those cartoons from the 1930s where a character is strapped to the front of a train and headed full-speed with a look of terror on his rubbery face? Or maybe I’m thinking of Kevin Bacon’s dream sequence from She’s Having A Baby.
Either way, that’s how I feel in this last run-up to Christmas.
I love the Holiday Season, starting with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Those three weeks from then until now are usually spent with a lot of lights, candles and Christmas music. And we did that, but since I had such a bad bout of illness for two of those weeks, I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle, coming out of a medication- and pain-induced stupor only to find that I have zero days left before Christmas Weekend, when I get together with family for all our traditional activities.
We have a lot of traditions–we are a tight-knit, event-loving clan. The joke is that if we do it once, it’s a tradition. That’s certainly borne out in the fact that now after 20 years things like “going to Carlos O’Kelleys on Christmas Eve” is as much a tradition as opening presents.
I’m excited about this, but I’m also filled with trepidation. This is not my first Christmas sick–not by a long shot–but my parents are getting older. In the natural order of things I should be taking the reins on food preparation and those other household tasks. Those are things I enjoy doing and the fact that I have to let my septugenarian mother slave over a stove while I sit by useless is kind of galling.
I haven’t done any baking. I miss that. I think I’ll also miss the Christmas music. I’ve gotten into Pandora’s Classical Christmas station in the last week and I know I’ll miss all those wonderful arrangements of classic songs.
Except the ones sung by professional children’s choirs. I know this is off-topic, and I know I have several friends here in Nashville and elsewhere who are blessed with vocally talented kids. So I hate to say this, but at the same time I have to own up to the fact that this year those well-trained children’s choirs have sort of been creeping me out. I don’t know why–I’m also prone to similar jitters when I see a Victorian Valentine or those tin toys from the 1920s. And I’ve only experienced the skeeviness from Christmas music so I think it’s probably the combination of youthful innocence and antiquarian polish. You know. Like Children of the Corn. Where they’re kids but they also have that “We are posessed by old people” thing going on. Anyway, this is off topic.
The topic is supposed to be how I’m excited for Christmas but also not ready to move through it to the place where it’s over. So I guess that’s like life in general.