The early signs of the holiday season have started to arrive. I noticed a handful of houses with festive lights during an early evening jog on Sunday. The first rounds of carols have started to trickle through over the radio. Navigating the holiday party circuit will soon begin and the halls will become decked in a matter of days.
If you’re anything like me, this time of the year has a way of sneaking up. As a result, it takes me much longer to reach Clark Griswold levels of holiday fervor. I’m no Mr. Shirley (Clark’s boss), but in my opinion, prepping for the holidays are much like getting into the swimming pool on Labor Day weekend: some folks live to dive, whereas others prefer to ease in. It’s no surprise which category I fall into.
Saying that this is a busy time of the year for everyone sounds like a huge understatement. Of course it is. Between office parties and gift shopping, work responsibilities and the intricacies of the day-to-day continue to press on. Historically, my approach to the holiday season is much like anything else that requires a significant amount of bandwidth: to put it on hold until I absolutely have to address it. Finishing up my holiday shopping around the dates of December 22nd or 23rd is a rodeo that I’ve attended more than once. The epitome of my procrastination occurred a few years ago when I delayed the traditional Christmas Eve lunch because I was out buying gifts for the remaining family members on my list. Serving as the sole barrier between my Uncle Dwight and a turkey leg is a position that I never hope to find myself in again.
For one reason or another, I’ve decided to follow a different strategy this year. Here’s the thing – as I sit here and think about previous holiday seasons, I can hardly remember all the dread that I had going into them. But I do remember the good times of catching up with family, friends who were back in town, and those around me. The holidays mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but for me, it really comes down to quality time: taking a moment to slow down the pace of life, reflect and appreciate each other. Really, the best method to preparing for the holidays is allowing yourself to have enough time to fully enjoy the season because it passes just as quickly as it arrives.
Sure, this may be a lesson that I could’ve received from an animated special, but I learned it through personal experience. Although I haven’t started shopping, I know what I’m going to get most people on my list. I’m looking forward to the holiday parties I’m attending and catching up with my family members when they get into town. Who knows, I may even pop It’s A Wonderful Life into the DVD player before the season’s over. On second thought, that may be a bit much. Baby steps.
Need some help getting into the holiday spirit? Here’s a brief roundup of what’s on my radar:
This collection of all new, original songs by the Rosebuds were released a couple of years ago. It is arguably one of the best Christmas albums to be produced in the past decade.
Our friends at Garden & Gun Magazine put together this list of the best gifts of the season.
If you’re hosting a holiday party, make sure to read this. A few months ago, we received a few tips on selecting the right tunes when entertaining a crowd from our friend, DJ and local record shop co-founder Marty Key.
Whether you’re hosting a party or looking for a couple of new cocktail ideas, T Magazine has us covered with this couple of holiday cocktail recipes.
For when you need time outside of the house over the holidays.