The twelve-day Christmas clock is in final countdown. Although THE twelve days of Christmas refers to the days following the 25th, my family festivities begin on the 23rd–so you’d think I’d be full speed ahead, wouldn’t you? For some reason I’ve been remarkably calm and quite uncommitted to the usual holiday essentials. We have yet to bring home a tree, the outdoor lights may not make it up at all and I haven’t done any baking. I’m marginally organized in the gift- giving department.
Initially there was a week or so of denial. Only four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas did seem a little unreasonable to me. But after some essential self-talk I was reminded that it wasn’t a conspiratorial decision to trip me up and that everyone was feeling similarly squeezed. I settled down and made a few lists. I must have needed a little more time to adjust, however, because I can’t find the lists.
No matter how many times Bing Crosby sings Frosty the Snowman or Tony Bennett Santa Clause is Coming to Town—my Pandora station likes both of these—I remain a little off-balance. I did start out with a good plan. In early November I started scouting about searching local theater or church programs to usher in something Christmasy to jump-start the season! A few years ago a good friend and I went to the Music Center for the Messiah-Sing-a-Long. Another year it was off to the famed Pantages Theater to see a musical based on the classic 1954 film, White Christmas. Even the Rockettes come to Los Angeles from time to time.
But this year I came up empty-handed. Either the dates and location (or price) were a misfit, or, as I discovered, even churches I’ve previously supported made considerable cut backs leaving available very few stand-out performance options. Just because I couldn’t find a suitable Christmas production I wasn’t going to completely give up! Part of my holiday well-being is balancing the to-do lists (the ones in my head…I really did lose the paper ones), with fun and musical traditions–just enjoying the season.
With no Christmas options, my die-hard Lucille Ball fan friend and I made our way into the heart of Los Angeles last week (no small traffic feat on a week night) and enjoyed a wonderful small theater performance of “I Love Lucy– Live on Stage.” It was a delightful show, replicating the taping of two original Lucy television episodes. The nostalgia-inducing charm was worth the effort to get there even if it didn’t do much to infuse Christmas spirit.
It did occur to me today that with sixteen people in my house Christmas morning expecting it to look a lot like Christmas, I’d better get moving. I lost a little momentum with “the big windstorm of 2011” but it’s a little disingenuous to keep referring to a minor power outage as the excuse for inertia.
For my overall well-being, though, it feels really good not to be too concerned about how it will all come together. It will. Santa Clause (and his fire engine) will come down our street the evening of the 23rd, making the same rounds he has made since I was seven years old. Sophia and Karina will once again be with us and sharing this brief Santa encounter with them will no doubt be the point in time when the little kid in me will show up and I know by then I’ll be feeling a lot like Christmas. No “Bah, humbugs” here.