By Lisa Sugarman
I know this might sound strange, coming out of nowhere and all, but I’m not the addictive type. Never have been. And I consider myself fortunate. It’s just not part of my genetic code.
I can more or less walk away from chocolate after a piece or two (with only the slight exception of raspberry buttercreams). I can play a few winning rounds of Blackjack and have no problem cashing out my chips. I’m not a TV series binge watcher (at least not since Sons of Anarchy went off the air). And aside from playing an occasional round of Call of Duty with Dave and the girls, I could take or leave video gaming as a whole. (Sorry, honey. I know that one hurt.)
But there is one thing I’m a junkie for. One thing I can never seem to get enough of no matter how hard I try to temper my urges. So I’ve given up trying.
And I’m a sucker for it every time it comes around, which, thankfully for me, is only once a year. I’m a sucker for Christmastime. (The irony being that I’m a Jew.)
I love everything about the holidays, to be honest. All holidays. Chanukah, Kwanzaa, St. Lucia Day, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, all of them. I love the joyfulness, the music, the food, the decorations, the enthusiasm. But considering that Christmas is the mack daddy of them all, at least in terms of size and scope and how much worldwide press it gets, that’s the one that pushes me over the edge. I mean, Santa…that suit!
More than the traditional pomp and circumstance of most holidays, though, I love the all the raw spirit—that infectious quality that fills us up as soon as we hear those first few bars of Christmas music after Thanksgiving.
I mean, if you asked me to isolate the one single quality about the whole holiday season that I love above all the others, that’s exactly what I’d choose. The spirit.
Now I can honestly take or leave the gift-giving part of the holidays, because I think most of us already have everything we need to begin with. At least most of us reading this column do; so what’s the sense in just accumulating more stuff, right? Presents are nice but c’mon, how many bags or shoes or video games do we really need to be happy? This society of excess we live in is getting a little ridiculous.
Truthfully, what I think we’re all really short on most of the time is spirit. Just crude, unfiltered spirit. And it’s because the other eleven months of the year deplete our reserves so much that people like me tend to OD on it during the holidays.
It’s the overall mood that I love. Can’t get enough of it. That infectious holiday vibe that seeps into my skin like moisturizer and keeps me invigorated all day long. Like when you’re in an elevator or on a subway car or in a waiting room with a bunch of strangers and everybody’s tapping their toes to the crappy holiday Muzak playing in the background. Or when you walk into a department store or a mall and everything is tinsel from floor to ceiling. Or how the whole world turns red and green and gold and sparkly from December through January. It just makes me so uncontrollably happy.
In fact, I sometimes feel like I’m a holiday whore because I just can’t get enough. Not as it’s defined on Urban Dictionary.com, of course. I am most definitely not a slut or prostitute who exclusively has sex with people on Christmas. What I will admit, though, is that I’m addicted to the way the holiday season makes me feel and I get that feeling from just about every holiday. So if that makes me some sort of twisted holiday-loving whore, then that’s me.
From the week before Thanksgiving, when I’m getting my mind focused on the holiday, the menu, the way the table is going to set up, straight through New Year’s Day, I’m in a constant state of glee. I’m humming Christmas songs; I’m looking for mistletoe; I’m baking trays and trays of molasses cookies. And thoroughly enjoying it all.
Truth is, I’m just wildly jealous of Christmastime. And I always have been, since I was a little girl.
I guess on some level I have what amounts to Holiday Envy. I’ll admit it. But remember, it’s just the spirit I envy. Not all the other nonsense.
So I’m a holiday addict. And I’m just putting it out there because I know there are others out there just like me. My only wish is that I can somehow figure out a way to preserve that holiday tingliness all year long. Maybe I’ll just be the nice Jewish girl who whips out a Santa hat at the beach in August. I could so be that girl.
Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItIsWhatItIsColumn. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.