Yep, it’s that time of year. The kids are insisting on getting down the Halloween decorations. They’re ready for the annual hauling out of the tombstones, fake spider webs, light-up pumpkins, and fluttering, hanging ghosts. Of course, they were ready in mid-August, mind you, when most of these evil stores start stocking Halloween costumes. Me? I’ve got to say: I’m really enjoying it not being the holidays. Because, and as well all know, the minute the All Hallow’s Eve is over…it’s on like the proverbial Donkey Kong.
So allow me if you will to revel in the moment while it’s here: it’s not holiday time yet, and the living is easy. For just a few fleeting more weeks, I am carefree. Free! Guess who doesn’t give a hoot about whether or not I’ll be shopping for five matching white shirts for the family to wear for the arranged photo for the Christmas card? Who’s not even given a thought to how, when, or where this photography will take place? Who’s not addressing cards and adorning them with Christmas stamps and stickers? THIS LADY.
Yes, happiness is not yet having to concern myself with which child I will sell into serfdom in order to finance the Christmas gathering. The food for ten? The stocking stuffers alone will call for a small business loan. Where will everyone sleep? Where will I hide the liquor? What will I feed my vegan sister-in-law? These are questions I do not have to address today, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I can focus on eating my weight in Doritos while watching the Texas/OU game while ignoring everything Yuletide, thank you very much.
No grocery lists! No weight creep! No panic attacks over the kids accidentally stumbling upon Santa’s stash. For that matter, no prolonged philosophical discussions with my pre-teen over the purported existence of said Fat Man and of Christmas Magic in general.
No boxes or ribbons or bags to buy or store or to totally take over the dining room table, otherwise known as The Wrapping Area. The lights are still in a massive tangle in the storage shed to be completely ignored. No hours yet spent on procuring a tree, taking down the decorations, putting up the decorations, and dusting the decorations.
Don’t get me wrong! There’s a time and place for all that ho-ho-happiness, but you’ve got to admit…it’s a lot of work and money and effort. Not to mention the cost of therapy and possible psychotropic medication after spending all that time with your family.
You’ve got to admit, we’re in a nice space: just getting settled into school, into a routine…and now it’s time for Halloween already. Then it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away to Thanksgiving followed so closely by Christmas. It all requires a degree in event planning, an Excel spreadsheet, and three months hard labor.
So don’t judge me. I do love the holidays…but I also dearly love they aren’t requiring my attention just yet. Allow me to revel in the moment: it’s mid October, I haven’t given a thought to making any sort of list, and turkey is the furthest thing from my mind. Nope. Not figuring out teacher gifts, not up late baking, not wondering if I leave the letter carrier a Christmas fruitcake if he’ll fear anthrax poisoning.
Join me. Let us luxuriate in this wonderful moment in time. Let’s take a breath and relax. Let’s watch football, enjoy the State Fair, feel the glorious Texas temperatures dipping into the 80s with a sense of peace. I am mindfully aware of my immediate blessings. For just a little while longer, the pressure is off. Soon enough it will be time to do battle in the stores and on the roads once more. Today? Is not that day. I shall rejoice and be glad in it.