Personal Stories: Let the X-mas season begin

"X-mas" to me means eXtreme Christmas and yesterday was the first day of the X-mas season. This year the season began with with my singlemindedness, my wife's practical decorating, my boy's wide eyed enthusiasm, my baby girl's "I'm just 8 months old leave me out of this" look, and my parents' practiced humoring of me. Let the season of miracles reign.

At my house, the X-mas season truly begins with the unboxing of the artificial tree. Last year, the tree was prelit and light strings kept dying like asian beetles in our effectively plantless house. Rather than throw away a perfectly good artificial tree, I performed a post X-mas miracle and removed all 600 dead lights, clip by ubiqitous clip. 4 hours later, we had a perfectly good unlit tree. Now, instead of a boring perfectly lit tree with white lights, we have kid lovin' tree with irregularly arranged colored lights; another X-mas miracle.

The first gift placed under the tree was a set of fake vegetables my wife and I had bought at Creative Kids Stuff. The store wrapped the gift for only a dollar, so we didn't have to hide this one from little man. Time is meaningless to a near 3 year old, and he almost opened the gift within a milisecond of us handing it to him. The first gift was thus placed under the tree with much goading on our part and excitement on his part. Of course, our 8 month old is also gunning for that gift, not for its mysterious contents, but instead for its very rippable paper. To protect the innocent, we surrounded the gift with an assortment of decorative tins collected over several X-mas seasons; another X-mas miracle.

My wife queued up some sesonal music while we decorated. Then the snow began to fall. Snow, in Iowa, in November; another X-mas miracle. The X-mas season just isn't the X-mas season without snow, which is why southerners celebrate just plain ol' ordinary Christmas.

The start of the X-mas season is important because it means I can finally go to stores and actuall look around and take my fingers out of my ears. Christmas creep, as some call it, spoils the X-mas season like someone telling you the secret of "The Crying Game". Now I can soak it in. I can also start showing goodwill toward man rather than just neutral will. And then there are the cookies.

Huzaa to X-mas!

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