Holding The Line

In my world/head, I don’t play holiday music or turn on holiday movies until the day after Thanksgiving, although every few years I might listen to holiday music in the car on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner.  This rule is mostly just to keep the Christmas/Solstice season within some kind of boundaries.  I think 5-6 weeks is plenty of celebration – no need for it to spill out into October and early November. 

So I was surprised to come home from picking up pizza yesterday to hear holiday music playing.  Loudly.  As we sat down to our pizza, I gave YA grief about playing Christmas songs.  Without missing a beat, she said “oh please – you’ve been doing holiday stuff since March”.   I have to admit that she is correct.  In the spring, when we all thought covid would be history by this time, I was expecting to be extremely busy at work, with all my spring programs bumping into the fall.  Since this was my mindset, I figured I should get all my Solstice stuff done early, so I wouldn’t be stressing out about it in October and November.  I did all my cards, my egg ornaments and my calendars in the spring.  I also worked on the family gift throughout the summer.  The last week I’ve done what I consider my “last-minute” stuff: the newsletter, wrapping, labels, cookie selection, etc. 

I consider all this holiday prep, but not holiday celebration.  No music or movies for me yet.  But I’m all ready for next Friday…. all my holidays movies are in a separate bin so I can get to them fast and YA’s “Alexa” will be on call every day (and I’ve finally figured out how to get her to play Radio Heartland). 

Will you be celebrating this year?  When will you start?

37 thoughts on “Holding The Line”

  1. in pandora i have a fistful of radio stations that i shuffle and among them are christmas stations
    bob dylan and frank sinatra tony bennett’s and ella sing all year long
    this year will be interesting at christmas
    my daughter is having my second grandson in two weeks and is very covid aware. we are doing a virtual thanksgiving with my son and his fiancé staying away because she works at hcmc, my sister because she works at costco, my mom because she wants to follow walz request that we all quarantine to get this done. i’ve got the two daughters in school in chicago, one at depaul finishes classes wednesday and will come home until january with a long holiday break( she works at mall of america and is considering doing food delivery for door dash instead to avoid the virus) the other will join us via zoom thanksgiving and come home two weeks later for the holidays
    i just punched in the 107.9 radio station yesterday on steve’s saburu i bought this week. i live the car (thanks steve) and i feel like it’s early for 24/7 christmas tunes but they are good to hear.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The week it was 70 degrees, I put up Christmas lights on the house. It felt premature putting them up in shirtsleeves, but I knew I would be glad I did later. I didn’t plug them in, telling myself I would wait for that until after Thanksgiving. But then, after the second snowfall and with the dispiriting news of covid restrictions and our family decision to skip a Thanksgiving get-together and the increasing darkness and the general tenor of the news lately, I figured “What the hell”, and plugged them into the timer. We need all the light, both actually and metaphorically, we can offer right now.
    I have a separate playlist of select holiday music on my phone that I switch over to for the season. I can play that, via bluetooth, in the car and on the vintage radios I have scattered around the house. We also have a box of holiday CDs we can put on rotation. But we hold off at least until after Thanksgiving before getting those out.

    It’s hard to say how Christmas will play out. We have most of the shopping for the grandkids done already and we adults keep gifts among ourselves to a minimum. Hopefully we’ll at least be able to see each other.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I get my Christmas baking ingredients starting in September, so I have all the glaceed fruits, nuts, and German brandy for my Stollen. I will make it this weekend. Lefse is done, and Daughter and I planned Christmas dinner last night over the phone. She arrives on the 23rd.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I made a ridiculous variety of Christmas cookies last year. It was well over 10 kinds. This year, Daughter only wants one kind, a thin, gingery Scots shortbread called Skibo Castle Crunch. Husband has requested a couple of his favorites, and I just asked Son and DIL what they might like. My gift to myself this year is a fancy new Springerle rolling pin from King Arthur Baking Company. I need to order it now, though, so I can use it for this year’s cookies. We will go to Brookings after Christmas with the van full of baked goods.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ten kinds? Amateur. YA and I cut down this year but we still have 12 kinds on our list. A lot of our cookies actually go on platters that we give out, vet, library, hardware store, milkman.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Husband doesn’t like airing Christmas music until December. We are working on our Christmas music in bell choir. All Christmas Eve and Christmas day services will be virtual, with no congregation members in the church. We will record our bell selections via video to be used in the Christmas services.. We will still have our Lessons and Carols service with the LDS church on Dec 20 but no more than 50 people can attend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The pastors and the Church Council didn’t think it fair for only a handful of the 800 or so people who come to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services to be able to attend, so we will all have the opportunity to watch on-line.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. We celebrate the winter solstice, too. And our street has just decided on an initiative to bring out the festive lights early, to cheer us up after a horrible year. 💡 🎄 So we are looking forward to that!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Over the last few years we have done less for Christmas, at least in our house. We enjoy mightily, celebrations and parties at church and in other peoples’ worlds. This year will further that trend. Any day now, we will hear from our kitchen contractor. That project will pre-empt everything, including a Christmas tree. We have to pack up the kitchen before we leave for AZ and it all depends on the contractor and when he can start. So really, our project is the contractor’s Christmas present since it assures him of a winter indoor project that profitable and warm.

    So the answer is, sorta celebrating. Our Christmas present to ourselves is a kitchen that works better and is mouse-free. But all that will be celebrated in April when we return back to MN. A diffuse and distant celebration.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. One of those sentences is out of place. We will not be celebrating at church or in other peoples’ homes this year due to COVID, therefore, the trend of doing less will really continue this year.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. As Bill et al. have mentioned: “We need all the light, both actually and metaphorically, we can offer right now.” To that end I’m turning on our swag of colored lights on what was once the front porch of this house, and not waiting till T’giving is over. We sometimes walk around the block after dark, and it really is cheering to see the lights that are already on.

    Everything else will wait till after Tg, in perhaps a muted fashion this year, but I’ll wait and see… except the music – will listen to every one of my Christmas tapes and CDs, and probably the choral stream on MPR…

    Gifts are tricky, we only do the kids, but there are also multiple December birthdays to think about, so they may get mostly gift cards this year, or Nat’l Geo subscriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This year I am looking for gift ideas that don’t involve shipping a physical package. I have a friend who is retired from the post office, and I think about her descriptions of how stressful Christmas was every year, and wonder how much worse it will be for postal employees this year, with staff out with COVID, or quarantining, or caring for family members with COVID….and I don’t think it will be better for Amazon, UPS, and FedEx employees. It would be a good year, if you send paper Christmas cards or physical gifts, to mail them really early. Or consider doing e-cards or e-gift certificates for just this year, unless you can hand deliver them.

    I’ve been tracking a package that was to have arrived yesterday. The info that the web site gave was “In transit, arriving late”, and that it was set to arrive by 9PM. Nothing arrived, and today it says “Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility.” I’m suspecting that four weeks from now all the delivery services will be in disarray.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Daughter shipped everything for us and her brother and family to us, and it all arrived today. We will transport her presents to the Brookings contingent when we drive there after Christmas. She has yet to get her personal list to me , and she better get it to me soon.


    2. We send money. Teenage grandkids prefer that to put money to buy a big present. 7 year old oddly likes building up his savings. But parents will pick out some things to buy and say it is from us. We have no one else to give gifts to, so we can avoid the trickiness many will feel this year. Sometimes it is good to be an anchorite.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t think so. A while ago Clyde described Mr.Tuxedo as being taller than him, and I don’t think that’s going to happen at seven.


  10. I’m with you, VS. Start the music and the movies on Friday after TG. It’ll be tough this year, subdued, but we don’t do any gift-giving (we donate money that we would have spent on gifts to a local charity). Only ritual in jeopardy is our family Christmas celebration the Saturday before Christmas Day– a big special dinner with my siblings and families, Mom, and stepdad. Might be a no-go this year for safety’s sake.

    However, to battle the negative mental impact of the pandemic, we might up the ante and do more decorating and in-home celebrating this year. Maybe participate in some virtual Christmas events. Who knows? Fight disaster with positivity.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

  11. We had reserved the building community room for Christmas day for daughter and family to come over. We have used it before successfully. We can easily be 10 ft. apart. But the governor’s order shuts that down. Building management says residents cannot meet with outsiders in the building. But that one will be ignored. Down the hall are two young men who refuse to wear masks and pass me in the hall all the time. The management told them to wear masks in the halls. Another violation and they will be immediately kicked out. So we will see.


    1. As far as I’m concerned, you can live your private life however you want so long as you do not endanger others in the process. And, that’s non-negotiable.

      Liked by 3 people

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