The Hallmark of Christmas

(The 12 Months of Christmas)

By Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown

I just saw a reminder that there were only 48 days until Christmas. I don’t know about you but I feel like Christmas was just yesterday, and the day before that. In fact, I feel like it’s Christmas all year long.

Beginning in January of this year, we had just come off of celebrating another fun and festive Christmas season but we were still planning a late “after Christmas party” with some friends who were coming in from out of town that we didn’t get to see over the holidays. Since we kept our tree up later than usual, it was the beginning of February by the time we began taking down our Christmas tree, putting every ornament lovingly back into their boxes. March found us taking a “Spring Break” vacation and buying a Christmas ornament souvenir to hang on our Christmas tree this coming Christmas to remember all the fun times we had on this trip. In late April my niece informed me that the only time she could possibly have our annual “Christmas in July” Southern Living Christmas Cake Baking Party was in May, as she would be in Europe all summer. So, that had me scrambling to plan this now “Christmas in May” party, in April. The merry month of May arrived and so did my nieces, my mom, my daughter, my sister-in-law and a couple of her friends visiting from out of town. Add in two dogs and the the baking of a Southern Living cake and it did indeed feel like all of the chaos of Christmas. We had a terrific time, complete with gingerbread men cookies and hot chocolate (albeit the frozen kind) but I was exhausted.

By the time June came around I was at the beach recuperating with my mom when she wanted to go shopping and get a start on her Christmas gifts. She kept reminding me Christmas was only six months away and that it would be here before we knew it. She is prophetic. I wonder if even she knew how right she was when just a few days later I turned on the radio and Frosty the Snowman was wafting through the air. I knew just how he felt as I was melting in the record setting heat. It really was sweat–er weather. But, it wasn’t just the sounds of holiday music ringing in my ears. You couldn’t flip the channels on the television without seeing a Hallmark channel Christmas movie. And they have been showing ever since. I couldn’t understand why it seemed as if every channel on my TV was showing a Christmas movie when it came to my attention that there is not just one Hallmark channel; there seem to be several. And, they were all showing Christmas movies throughout the entire month of July. It was so hot all I wanted to do was set my TV to the Hallmark channel to watch what looked like the same couples in every other movie meet at a Christmas Inn/Lodge, throw snowballs, turn on the village lights and eventually kiss, while I cuddled up in an ugly Christmas sweater, blasted the air conditioning to high and let it blow, let it blow, let it blow.

August came along and my mom was texting me wanting to know what the kids wanted for Christmas, what the plans were, and offering me suggestions for her gift. September 16th all I saw everywhere were signs reminding me that there were only 100 days left until Christmas. The countdown was on! I began to feel a sense of panic, vague, but still there. I pushed it back down with a nice cold gin and tonic, my summer drink of choice. After all, it was still sweltering outside. However, by the time the calendar flipped to October, and I had to practically push back the Christmas trees and lights to find the Halloween candy, I realized the scary truth: that the Christmas season was already in full swing. A fact that was reinforced by the Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas with the 345 Christmas movies they have scheduled. That’s just their new movies. Enough to show every day until Christmas 2020.

November can pretend to be all about Thanksgiving but it’s really just a preview of Christmas to come. So, now that it’s the real holiday season, I’m beginning to feel a little Christmas burnout. However, the fact remains that it’s time to put up the tree, find that souvenir ornament I bought back in March, turn on the never ending Hallmark Channel Christmas movie marathon and make me a Merry Margarita and indulge in the spirits of the season. It’s often been said that we should carry the Christmas spirit with us every day of the year. I’ll drink to that. Cheers

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