Is it a coincidence that in this dwindling daylight time of year (sorry if this doesn’t apply to you folks from the South Pole) that holiday decorations and lights get amped up?
I think not.
Festivities blossom at the exact time when we all might be despairing about stocking up on light bulbs. So instead, we’re stocking up on strings of lights and tinsel too. And darned excited about it!
So what’s your point? I can hear you asking now (yes, I’m a mind reader—but it only works on imaginary people who are reading my columns—then I get this fabulous insight about …okay, back to the point.)
My point is…well…it’s more an observation than a point. Let me illustrate with a snippet from a typical day in my life during this magical sunlight-challenged, yet holiday-festivity-abundant time of year.
First, I do not wake up to the sunlight streaming in the window—I only dreamed about that. Instead, the cat woke me with extra loud purring because even she knows about the holiday excitement. (She watches too much TV and I’m afraid all the commercials have affected her.) So in the murky morning dark I follow the sound of the cat’s purring (and occasional screeching when I misstep) to the light switch.
Fast forward to coffee-drinking—or I should say slow-forward since there’s nothing fast about my pre-coffee activities (which include dressing and what-not) (what-not is a handy word isn’t it?). By the time I finish my last sip of coffee, bedecked in my red and green sweater sprinkled with sequence and felt cut-outs of Santa and his reindeer and random puffballs of snowflakes and a Christmas tree, I’m feeling awake enough to put on my holiday crown. It’s the one with multi-colored stars and flashing snowmen. I grab my sunglasses and whistle for Myren my Chauffeur. (The sunglasses are to protect against snow blindness.)
Myren pulls up sporting his Santa hat in place of the chauffeur cap and I’m sporting a big smile. That’s the whole purpose of Santa hats, isn’t it? Well, maybe I’m just a sucker for Santa hats. Reindeer antlers kill me too. I have a crown with…I digress—back to the day.
My mission this morning is to get a TREE. A live over-the-top, pine-scented tree with all the stuff on it. (I write for a living—I’m no decorator—although a couple of my characters are decorators, so maybe I’m trying to compensate in my fiction for…digressing again.) We drive around looking at countless tree stores—you know those parking lots with card board signs that say “Xmas trees for sale” with a previously homeless guy wearing a red and black plaid jacket and cap pulled low over his face holding a saw at the ready to wait on you?
Finally we end up at an indoor holiday store that used to be a swimming pool store not six months earlier that sells trees all tooled out in full regalia. There are about two thousand themes to choose from. So I take my time until lunch and then we wait on line at a lunch place for a while—I didn’t ask for Queenly preference to cut the line even though all my subjects were in awe of my royal presence (well, they were staring and seemed to be pretty impressed by the crown).
After lunch and more looking around, at about row 73 of trees, I found the perfect one (or at least it seemed perfect at this time—which was about the time my feet were getting tired and the daylight started dwindling. If it had been June, I’d have been looking at trees til 9 at night with energy to spare).
Myren hauled the bagged tree onto the roof and we were off. I was looking forward to a cozy fire in the fireplace and some eggnog about now. And I was looking forward to all those flashing lights amidst the shiny garland and sparkling decorations on my over-the-top themed Xmas tree.
So my point is, don’t be too hard on all that commercialism and craziness at this time of year. It all serves a purpose. It’s all about overcompensating for the dwindling daylight to keep our spirits up. Or to give us a headache to distract us from our depression about dwindling daylight. Either way, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
Stephanie Queen has some fabulous spirit-lifting novels perfect for reading this time of year. Check out her romantic comedy suspense series including The Throwbacks and The Hot Shots. Visit her website at www.StephanieQueen.com for more information.