“I need help getting my head on,” Joey said into the phone. I laughed as I replied, “It’s about time you got your head on straight.” As I put down the receiver I chuckled again as I envisioned my sister-in-law getting help with her “head.” You see, we were talking about her latest Halloween costume which was a huge paper mache affair representing a bobble head of Dwight K. Schrute from a television program called “The Office.”
I loved tagging along with her on Halloween night, holding doors as she negotiated her way between judging stations. She would make the head bobble by pulling on a length of fishing line, distribute her business cards and patiently explain to those who didn’t know, just what her costume represented. The surprised expressions of those who encountered this giant, nodding head was worth the price of admission. Then there was the lady on the street who ran headlong into her. Goodness, she was shocked. Joey simply said as she stepped up onto the curb, “I’m not sure how that happened. I guess she didn’t see me.” And later, to watch her on the dance floor, well….you can just imagine.
As I watched her, I was struck by the total enthusiasm she has for holidays. She anticipates, plans and prepares for each event with gleeful intensity. And those who are fortunate enough to be around her during these times of celebration can’t help being swept along on the tide of festivities. Joey knows how to throw a party. Indeed, she seemingly considers her entire life a party and will take any excuse to celebrate.
I have also known a few folks throughout my life who seem to take their disinterest in holidays as a badge of honor. “Oh, my birthday is just like any other day,” they will say. Or, “You know, I never get into Christmas. It’s too much trouble and just too commercial.” Or my personal favorite, “Now that my kids are grown I don’t do the holidays. They’re just for children.” Who says? And who says that I can’t be a kid at Christmas or any other time of the year? Maybe Christmas is too commercial, but that doesn't mean that you have to buy into it. I recognize the entire month of November as my birthday month. I have always maintained that celebrating my birth into this world should not be restricted to only one day. Birth is a wondrous and miraculous event and I figure it deserves at least a month to properly honor it. I like to celebrate being me.
Noel and I have a bottle of Courvoisier that sits in our dining room. Attached to the neck is a tag that reads “For Life’s Celebrations.” It’s empty. That’s because we toast the completion of chores around the house, births of grandchildren, the successful wiring of an electrical outlet (without burning the house down) and the acquisition of a new sofa with gusto. There are endless events to honor.
I smile when I think of the coming days. There will be baking and wrapping and shopping and decorating. And as every year, I will feel certain that I won’t get it all done. You bet, I get stressed this time of year. But, if the holidays do nothing else, they knock us out of our routine. They are an excuse (as if we needed one) to be with family and friends, to give gifts of love, to indulge in our senses and to pause in remembrance of those who are no longer here to celebrate with us. And before life gets really hectic, I’m going to break out the good china, light a couple of candles, put a favorite CD in the player and rejoice that I woke up this morning in a warm, cozy bed in the arms of the one that I love.