Here we are – Christmas week.
Seems like it is only about June, doesn’t it? OK, maybe not the weather, but this has been one incredibly strange year. It has thrown my sense of time off completely.
I am not exactly Mr. Christmas, but this year the holiday has crept up on me like never before. I honestly feel like Halloween was last week. Did we just skip Thanksgiving? I don’t really remember it.
But when I think about it, I understand why everything seems so, well, off this year.
Last year, my wife and I cut the cable. That means we get all of our TV viewing off of the Internet. We have Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime and Sling. Yes, we can get local channels with an antenna, but we honestly never watch them. We haven’t watched a single football game this year, for example.
That means we are not seeing the Christmas commercials that usually flood TV this time of year. There are some on the Sling app, but not a lot of holiday commercials. Maybe it is because we aren’t watching the Hallmark Channel. I will say it has been a welcome change.
We also haven’t been going to any holiday parties this year. Thanks to COVID-19, office Christmas parties are off this year. So are parties with our friends – and trust me, we are a party-happy group. We like nothing more than gathering for good food, good conversation and some adult holiday beverages. For me, that means light beer.
We aren’t even going to my wife’s dad’s house on Christmas Eve, something we do every year. We have a big meal and enjoy family and open presents. It is a long-standing tradition. Hopefully it will return next year.
I think one of the big things that has made me feel holiday disorientation this year is that we haven’t been out shopping. When you are out shopping you see the Christmas decorations, you hear the Christmas songs, you see the horrible multi-colored sweaters.
Yes, I prefer to shop online when I can, but I do go to local stores. I love to support local businesses. But this year it has not really been something we have done. We take our health seriously, so we just haven’t been out much.
That means I have not heard one – not one! – Christmas song this year. As far as I am concerned that’s a good thing, but it is still weird not to hear them this time of year.
Even the cold hasn’t made me think of Christmas. First, we have no snow. Second, while it finally got cold early last week, there are days I don’t even leave the house. That means it is always 73 degrees for me. When I do leave, it is a serious slap in the face.
Don’t judge me, but we haven’t even put up a Christmas tree this year. Really, there is no need. My kids are adults who live in different states, and my wife and I are pretty ambivalent when it comes to dragging the lovely plastic tree up from the basement this year.
I am sure that will change next year. With the vaccine on the horizon, I am counting on the Christmas spirit coming back hard in 2021. I might even listen to a Christmas song.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas and stay safe!