Happy Everything

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and for weeks I’ve been called a Scrooge. Yes, a Scrooge as in “The Christmas Carol,” emphasis on Christmas. 
Growing up, my dad was a firm believer in singing Christmas carols – on Christmas Day. I’m not quite as strict. My son’s been playing “Up on the Housetop” on his clarinet for a month now, and since it was my grandmother’s favorite carol, I’ve allowed it — plus it’s required for school. 
See, I’m reasonable.
I bit my tongue when my husband accidentally called the house with a jazz version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” blaring on his truck radio. I wanted to ask if it were some kind of sick joke, but I didn’t. I’ve ignored his humming of holiday tunes around the house and didn’t accuse of him of doing it just to bug me. 
See, I’m very reasonable — until one night when my family piled into the car to go somewhere. 
“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock …” sang the radio.
“Jingle around the clock!” my family chimed in at the top of their lungs.
I turned, glared at the kids and pushed the button hard for the next station.
“I’ll have a blue Christmas …” it played.
“Without you …” my family sang in exaggerated fashion. “You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas so whi …”
At which point, I couldn’t stand it and turned the radio off all together.
“You’re a Scrooge,” my husband teased.
“A Scrooge?” I said, outraged. “It’s Veterans Day!”
And, it was. Downtown Newnan looked beautiful with its white lights, but what about flags? Shouldn’t we slow down and enjoy each holiday as it comes, instead of lumping them all together into a “holiday season” that starts the minute the last door is shut on a trick-or-treater? Or is it just me? Sometimes I feel as if it is. 
I love Thanksgiving. I love everything it’s about – family, food and, most importantly, being thankful for both. There are no gifts, no pressure to buy, no pressure to decorate perfectly or even to be happy. On Thanksgiving, the biggest decision one has to make is whether to take a nap, go for a walk or have another piece of pie after lunch.
And best of all, there are no songs.
I know some people really love all the pomp and circumstance that come with Christmas, and there are people who have already decorated and been ready for the big event for weeks. Believe it or not, this year, I’m one of them. My children went to a pottery place and hand painted the perfect gift for me. It’s a plate that reads, “Happy Everything!”
I’ve decided to keep it on my mantel year-round. I figure that covers all the holidays, and, hopefully, it will remind me that listening to “The Little Drummer Boy” won’t kill me, no matter what time of year it is — especially when my precious children are singing along.

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