Christmas spirit about the memories, not the merch

By Megan Kutulis
December 3, 2009

Shannon Keough

This week, ABC Family is kicking off their “25 Days of Christmas” marathon, showing one cheesy holiday-related movie per night in anticipation of the most wonderful time of the year. As happy as I am to see Mario Lopez hit new lows with his acting “career”, I just need to say: ABC Family, get on my level. You might be celebrating the 25 days of Christmas, but I’ve been celebrating the 50-some Days of Christmas for a month or so now.

Yes, I am proud to admit that I am one of those overzealous Christmas nuts who doesn’t even let my Halloween candy stash die down before I start trimming the tree.

I spent the entire month of November suspiciously circling the King of Prussia Mall waiting for them to put up their wicker reindeer and I put up with hours of Kelly Clarkson and Creed on B101 to wait to hear those Christmas tunes coming through my radio. The first song played on Nov. 19 at noon, by the way.

My addiction has been met by a number of critics. Friends and family never miss an opportunity to tell me that I’m “rushing it” and that I’m “ruining” the season by decorating so early.

I can see why some people might not to rush into Christmas, but I like to look at my eagerness in a more positive light.

First of all, I have always, always procrastinated, and probably always will. It’s a pretty bad personality flaw for me. For once, I’m doing something earlier than it needs to be done, so how about, instead of grinching my holiday, you give me a pat on the back and encourage me in the right direction?

Secondly, it’s no secret to anyone that we aren’t as economically stable as we have been in the past. Although that doesn’t really seem to be affecting iPhone sales or completely dissuading Black Friday shoppers, it does mean that there’s even more focus on the true spirit of Christmas . Now more than ever we should be focusing, as a community, to bring that sense of excitement and anticipation to our families and friends.

I have great holiday memories from when I was little, and although a lot of them include the presents I just had to have (like the doll that really ate and peed!), all of them include the hours I spent decorating with my family.

I remember putting on mittens because I was afraid our tree’s needles would be so sharp they would take my finger right off. (Did I mention how cool I was as a kid?) I remember putting out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. I remember sharing a room with my sister, standing in our doorway thinking we heard something in the fireplace and guessing what each other had waiting under the tree.

Memories like these are what keeps me coming back for early Christmas decorations every year. Because now that I’m in college, I realize how important all those memories are to me and how much they mean to me. Call me cheesy, but I know those memories are what helped to make the holidays important to me. If I want to decorate a little early, I should be allowed to.

In my final defense of the Christmas season, I urge all of you, Christmas crazies or not, to recall the glory that is Christmas movies.

I’m pretty sure that no matter how old you get or how you feel about premature decor, you can’t deny the joy you get from watching Macauley Culkin perform that wide-open-mouth scream or watching Ralphie continue on his tireless pursuit of that Red Ryder BB gun. I know half of you just said “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

There’s nothing more comforting and more classic than a good old Christmas movie, and if that doesn’t prove to be the ultimate defense for my Christmas fever, I don’t know what does.

So,Scrooges, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll continue to put my Christmas lights up early. Until Dec. 25, you can retreat to the north of Whoville and leave me to my holiday bliss.

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Megan Kutulis

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