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Tis the season

Alex Kilpatrick | Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The other day, when my roommate and I were shopping for Halloween costume accessories, we stumbled across Christmas decorations in the third aisle of Michael’s. While most would argue that late October is too early to begin celebrating the Christmas season, we were both elated and immediately decided to purchase a “Happy Holidays” scented candle and gold colored plastic reindeer for our common room.

This begs the question, when is the proper time to begin partaking in Christmas festivities? Some say as soon as the adorned store doors open for frenzied shoppers looking to get the best deals on Black Friday; others, when the holiday drinks go on sale at Starbucks or the storefront window display goes up at Marshall Field’s in Chicago.

I’ve always been ahead of the game in my desire to partake in the holiday spirit. On elementary school bus rides, I would attempt to convince my bus driver to allow us to sing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving break, with no avail. The rule was steadfast — no singing before Thanksgiving. No exceptions.

Such a preponderance of rules against the early celebration of the Christmas holiday only increased my eagerness to begin the festivities ahead of schedule. Even today, I’m that girl who listens to Christmas music in October. I was more than ecstatic this year when I realized that 102.3 FM The Stream had completely switched over to Christmas music over Fall Break.

I also currently have seven Christmas stations on my Pandora site, created from a wide range of Christmas tunes, including Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmas Time is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and Burl Ives’ holiday music from everyone’s favorite stop-motion animated TV special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Starbucks’ advertisement of their holiday drinks only advances the cause. Gingerbread lattés, peppermint mochas and eggnog lattés are invariably the reason that I exhaust my Flex Points by the end of fall semester each year, leaving nothing on my card with which to purchase any last minute Christmas gifts for friends and family.

My family and I have our signature Christmas movie traditions, from viewing “Home Alone” on Thanksgiving evening, only pausing to break for pie, be it pumpkin or chocolate pecan, to watching “Christmas in Connecticut” before midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

Whatever I’m doing to celebrate Christmas, I always appreciate the spirit with which people partake in the holiday season, showing gratitude for everything and everyone in their lives. No matter when you begin the Christmas season, whether you spend it with family or friends, make sure to be grateful for all with which you are blessed.


The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Alex Kilpatrick at [email protected]