I haven’t really cared about Christmas or been truly excited about it for about 25 years. I was 13, it was 1987, and all I wanted was a Nintendo and a new fishing pole. After that, Christmas gradually lost its luster, until it became just another hustle-and-bustle holiday headache that I couldn’t wait to get past.
There’s something about having kids – especially two-and-a-half-year-olds who randomly yell “SANTA CLAUS!” for no apparent reason – to make you appreciate Christmas once again. This is the same girl who will pick up our iPhone and carry on entire conversations with Santa. I wish I’d had that kind of access to the old man when I was a kid.
Here’s an example of my excitement: This year, for the first time in my life, I actually looked forward to putting up our Christmas tree. My wife “talked me into” putting it up last weekend after Thanksgiving (I used to be a mid-December kind of guy) and we she changed her mind and decided to do it this weekend, I was secretly disappointed.
I should have seen this transformation coming. I was excited about Halloween this year too, and I haven’t given a damn about that holiday since my last trick-or-treating session in 1985. But here we are, three weeks before the big day and I’m feeling something I haven’t felt since Ronald Reagan was president. Sure, it’s not the same kind of excitement when you know what’s inside all the gifts wrapped under the tree, but it’s still better than nothing.
The true test of my festive spirit will come on December 26. That’s when I usually tear down the Christmas tree in about 15 minutes flat and literally kick it to the curb. Will I be as quick to disassemble this year? Who knows, maybe I’ll leave it up until December 27. Crazy, I know, but having kids will do that to you.