Well, it’s another year, another mad dash for the stores, another Clark Griswold-style freak-out over the Christmas lights, and another massive hemorrhage to my bank account, all in the name of the holiday spirit. Before you think I’m going all bah-humbug with this, rest assured that this is my second-favorite time of year, next to the summer, of course. I love the lights. I love the smell of a freshly-cut Christmas tree. I love driving around and looking at the lit-up houses, and getting a bit too distracted to actually drive. I love the festivities with family and friends, and I really do love giving, even if what I’m giving is something the recipient doesn’t really need. I don’t mind wrapping presents nowadays, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I love decorating, watching Christmas movies, and drinking egg nog.
Out at various retail spots, the season seems to start earlier and earlier each year, with even a small amount of decorations and such popping up on shelves at the end of August. I refuse to let it start that early for me – the first day I’ll purposely listen to Christmas music is Black Friday (it’s become sort of a tradition for me). At the same time, once the Christmas season is over, I suffer the closest thing to depression that I ever let myself experience, as there is little to look forward to until the weather gets warm again. This time of year has always been a blast for me. I always look forward to putting up the tree, and then putting presents under it. I look forward to my family’s annual Christmas Eve party, that I have never once missed. I look forward to my mom’s cookies and a glass of egg nog on the morning of, as my brothers and I wait to exchange and open presents, many of which are still “from Santa.” I can never wait to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and I have come to appreciate 24 hours of “you’ll shoot your eye out!” more than I thought I ever could.
Just for a while, forget about the angry, greedy shoppers who trample over each other for a $6 waffle maker and a no-name flat-screen TV. Forget about the traffic and travel delays. Forget about the annoying in-laws. Forget about everything but the people you love. Give because you want to, not because you feel obligated. Eat awesome food. Drink egg nog. Drink whatever you want. Stay close and stay warm. Stuff your stockings, but make sure your heart is full too. As The No Seatbelt Blog celebrates its first Christmas, I send my warmest wishes your way, and hope you all have an amazing holiday season. Merry Christmas!