I came home from the hospital on the day of the Raleigh Christmas parade in 1987.
The same parade was held on the weekend of or near my birthday every year of my childhood and still is.
I’m a maniac about my birthday. Anyone who knows me well knows this. But I’m also a maniac about Christmas and I barely can separate the two things in my mind.
The issue of when to begin celebrating Christmas is divisive. There are those in the wait until December camp, the wait until the day after Thanksgivings and the I can’t wait to start listening to Christmas music on November 1st crowd.
I bet you can guess which one I’m in. And I know it drives some people crazy. So I try to respect that. I keep my Christmas music in my headphones until after Thanksgiving.
But the truth is, the lines are blurred. November kicks off a full season of joyful time with family and friends. There are two major holidays between now and December 31st, but for me the feelings of those holidays lasts the entire season.
I, of course, know the meanings behind Christmas and Thanksgiving and understand why some people want to keep them separate, but I can’t help myself. I love the celebration of family and togetherness. I love Christmas decorations and the way I feel like I should go a little more out of my way to be kind to strangers (I know, I know.. I should do this all year round and I really do try).
I love the idea that most people around me have something to look forward to during this season, whether its visits from family not seen since last year or cooler weather or those darned red cups at Starbucks.
I love that my mom and mamaw are/were Christmas fanatics who started shopping months in advance and couldn’t wait to decorate multiple trees in their homes.
I’m grateful that we have a season that is undeniably meant for loving one another, no matter how or what we celebrate between now and the new year.
I don’t apologize for being excited about the holidays as soon as November hits.
In fact, I sort of blame the City of Raleigh. It’s not my fault I was born on the weekend they chose to hold their Christmas parade each year.