When I was three-years-old, my favourite movie was The Wizard of Oz. There was just one problem.
I had no beef with the flying monkeys or the gnarled wicked witch; it was when Dorothy got back to Kansas at the end of the movie.
My Mom would have to race into the room, stab the Rewind button on the VCR (hi, I’m ancient) and distract me until she could start it over from the beginning again.
Why? When it ended I would cry hysterically, and not just because Kansas looked so dusty and gross after the glitz of Oz.
It was because, from a very early age, I hated it when good things ended.
So it will come as no surprise that come early February when the florists are just starting to jack up their rose prices, my Christmas tree is still twinkling away in the corner of my living room.
You may call me lazy. I think after a whole day spent swearing, sweating and fuzting with the lights, garlands, ornaments and the stupid star that would not stay straight, one could never accuse me of being sloth-like. Those fluffed plastic boughs, drooping with heavy baubles and twinkling lights, represent time I could have been on Netflix. The sacrifice is real.
You may call me delusional. I think that an attempt to draw out the magical bubble of Christmas is forward thinking as fuck. Who wouldn’t want an extension of a time rife with:
- Unholy calorie counts!
- Weeknight drinking!
- Cheers’ing to everything and nothing!
You may call me weak. I think it takes real courage and valour to defend this action, especially when every single person who comes over from Dec 26-Feb 15th feels the need to comment (read: judge.)
All those Nelly Naysayers who box up or murder their trees before the tinsel can choke a cat, hear me out.
The months leading up to Christmas are a tangled mess of commitments, shopping, lineups, sweating in winter coats, lists with sub-lists, obligations, phone calls to ensure older relatives know I’m still alive, budgets blown to shit, ONE dead light making an entire strand of lights completely useless, eating buttered or chocolate-covered things to make wrapping stacks of oblong gifts not feel like a punishment, all covered with a heavy blanket of tinny-speakered “PA RUM PA PUM PUM.”
I didn’t get a chance to sit and enjoy this tree before Christmas. Back then it served as the all-seeing living room overlord of me swigging deep from a wine bottle after I forgot to send Christmas cards, and swearing under my breath about buying my nieces Shopkins instead of paying rent. It daintily sat on all the Star Wars gifts that my kid thankfully adored after we took her to see the movie on December 24th. (If she hadn’t loved it we had zero back up plans. Well, I guess tossing the tree and gifts over the balcony and blaming the Grinch was our 11th hour option.)
Now that the holiday horrors (and leftover After Eight mint squares) are just a bitter taste on the back of my tongue, NOW I can relax in front of the tree and admire how many Hallmark executives’ children we put through college. Reflect on my favourite moments of the holiday. (I swear to God when we took the BB-8 droid toy out of the box, “woke it up” and it beeped at us, a room full of hardened adults melted into their shoes.) Drink the last of the hot toddies and wiggle my swollen feet around in ridiculous candy-cane socks before the inevitable reality of January exercise makes me deeply regret my “eat like you’re never eating again” holiday appetite.
Christmas kicks my ass every year, but still — minute to minute, there is more beauty than bullshit.
I’m an adult now (gross) and I know that all good things must end (ugh) and life doesn’t have a Rewind button (stupid physics) but right now, my tree and me, we can absolutely hit Pause.