Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Feel it in My Fingers, I Feel it in My Toes

Sometimes it is not until you become an adult and have real-world experiences that you’re able to reflect on your childhood and realize how bizarre your family truly is.  As a kid, I took for granted that my family’s traditions and methods for doing things were the way they were supposed to be done, and I accepted it.  One summer, around middle school, it was my friends’ collective reaction to our family Christmas tree proudly standing in our living room that helped me realize how peculiar it was.

Earlier that year, mid-January, we were discussing taking down the tree, and I remember how hysterical we thought it would be (despite my mother’s short-lived protest) if we just left it up all year.  So we did.  And we placed everyone’s gifts under the tree on the morning of each of our birthdays, and that’s where we discovered our Valentine’s Day treats, and that’s where the Easter Bunny left little baskets for us.  When we had our big, annual 4th of July party, groups posed in front of the tree just like we would at Christmastime.  Except they were wearing bathing suits, sundresses and shorts instead of reindeer sweaters with jingle necklaces.  We were a novelty!

Aside from the funny attention it got us, keeping the tree up all year seemingly took something away from the following Christmas since the house was already decorated for the season.  We did not have the opportunity to traditionally kick-off of the holiday by readying our home for the occasion, and that has always been one of my favorite things about Christmas.  We took the tree down after being up nearly a year and a half, and then we did it again when I was in college!

Like I said, posing in front of the Christmas Tree.  In September.
And yes, I am falling over.

I still think it is interesting that we did this when I was growing up, as it helps me recognize where some of my quirkiness may have originated.  But I also believe it might be why I am turned off by Christmas movies [with exception to Love Actually] that air during the summer.  I get the idea behind it, but I cannot bring myself to watch them.  And I even have a rule that I am not allowed to listen to holiday festive music until the day after Thanksgiving.

Over the years, I have come to believe that Christmastime is its own special chunk of the year unlike any other, and everything related to it belongs specifically in that narrow window of time.