It seems that each year, the holiday season approaches sooner than the last. You can either embrace the Christmas cheer, or you can run from it, my friend. This year, I have chosen to accept it with open arms!
I don’t want to talk about, think about or hear about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but now that Turkey Day has passed and it’s officially December, bring on the twinkling lights and Christmas crafts! I would like to present a prelude to the holiday season, if you will, in the form of “10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Holidays,” in no particular order:
- Quality family time. If you don’t get to spend much time with the fam for the other 11 months of the year, the holiday season will force you together! Luckily for me, I see my family constantly (by choice) so this month is just another opportunity for some good ol’ memory making.
- Food, food and more food. In case you’re unfamiliar, food is something we discuss quite frequently on “In the D.” And in case you’re new to planet Earth, food is also a huge part of the holiday season. It’s also a lifesaver when your great aunt Helen asks when you’re getting married and popping out a baby for the 97th time. Shove a meatball in your mouth and it would simply be rude to answer that question, giving you a moment or two to mull over an answer with fewer swear words.
- Holiday decorations galore. I am all about the Christmas decorations. We’ve had the same ones in my house since I was little, and this year I have the honor of displaying some of them in my very own pad. There’s just something about holiday decorations that makes you happy, ya know? You can’t drive through a festive neighborhood full of Christmas lights and think “gee, those babies really ruined my day.” Plus, decorating the inside of your house or apartment just makes being stuck indoors (thanks to the cold cruelty of Michigan weather) all the more bearable. Who even wants to go outside when you’re surrounded by a winter wonderland?
- The smell of Christmas in the air! You know what I’m talking about. Fresh Fraser fir and Douglas fir trees, cinnamon, spice, freshly baked cookies, the list goes on. It’s the one time of year scented candles are aplenty, but really aren’t that necessary, thanks to all of the above.
- Christmas specials from the old days. You know, the classics! “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (the 1966 television short, obviously, NOT the 2000 film starring Jim Carrey). It’s not really the holiday season until you watch a laundry list of classic Christmas specials. I shall always cherish the VHS tape (yes, not DVD or Blu-ray) that contains all of the Christmas specials of my youth, complete with awesome vintage Christmas commercials.
- Enjoy activities that are simply more magical during the holiday season. Some things just seem more enchanting this time of year, no? Sure, you can go ice skating in the middle of February, but do so right now at Campus Martius in downtown Detroit and you can do figure eights around a beautiful, towering Christmas tree. If that’s not the best thing since stringing lights up and putting a poinsettia-laden wreath on your front door all whilst baking Christmas cookies, I don’t know what is. Other winter activities that also fall into this category include sledding, playing in the snow and skiing. Thankfully, you’ll have to wait on two of the three just a bit because there’s no snow on the ground for the time being. Let us all be thankful for that. (You can already ski at Mt. Brighton thanks to manufactured snow).
- Christmas carols and or music. “Oh my GAWD, Christmas music is the WORST, and don’t even get me started on carolers,” says everyone. While, yes, there certainly is a problem with the holiday musical stylings of Jessica Simpson and The Regis Philbin Christmas Album (both of which are real things and fall under the category of “Worst Christmas Music, No Worst Music Ever, Period”), not even the Scroogiest of Scrooges can complain about classy Christmas tunes. Some “White Christmas” by Dean Martin or “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra? Sorry, but even if you don’t like Christmas tunes, your ears can’t complain about that.
- Three words: Work. Christmas. Party.
- Holiday-themed gatherings. Ones besides the work Christmas party, which include, but are not limited to, ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift exchanges and the big present reveal on Christmas morning. For more on creative gift exchanges and local gift ideas, check back with “In the D” over the course of the next few weeks—we’re going to keep you informed about everything from holiday gifts to gatherings.
- Giving back. While it’s great to do so all year round, most people feel more inclined to do so around the holiday season, which is great! Whether you choose to ring a bell, donate clothing or spare some extra time helping those less fortunate, donating your time and services is a great way to give back to the local community. These Metro Detroit charities are a few great places to start!
Stay tuned throughout the month for more holiday festivities, “In the D” readers! We’re just getting started.