…because the travails of the Commodores have basically carried NaBloPoMo this year. Apologies to the maybe three people actually reading this blog, who are probably all sick to death of Anchor Down and Who Ya Wit. ;]
Christmas season is upon us. Lights are around the trees, peppermint mocha is in every coffee purveyor’s establishment, I came downstairs this morning and the tree was decorated, and right on time, the Killers have released this year’s Christmas track. “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” is a rootin’-tootin’ Western-influenced two-stepper, as you might expect, and you can really see the influence of Brandon Flowers’ Nevada-centric solo album from last year. I’m about ready for them to get back in the studio and get to work on a fourth full album already.
Another nice touch is that the whole collection of Christmas tracks, one annually since 2006, is now available as an EP “album” from the iTunes Music Store in aid of World AIDS Day tomorrow. I’ve written previously about “Joseph, Better You Than Me”, and last year’s single “Boots” was as perfect a melancholy slice of “you can’t go home again” as the season calls for. Because Christmas, more than any other holiday, always brings with it the memory of days gone by and the bitter truth that things aren’t how they used to be.
This year, though, I’m going to try to focus on having a good holiday season. These are the things you can normally only tell in retrospect, but I think I knew in 2008 that it was going to be a good one, with a job change coming up and Vanderbilt going to a bowl and not having to get on a plane in December. 2009 was less so, although that’s probably down to spending eight straight days in Alabama, and 2007 or 2010…well, that didn’t go well.
This year I’m reminded of 2006. We did things, for sure, but in a lot of ways it was the year of the dull moment, of being settled into routine. Perhaps coincidentally, it’s also the last time we took in a lodger. Having other people around is good for conversation, good for help with the chores, good for occasionally sitting down to family dinner, and – in my case – good for the indulgence of football and vice. Even if the vice has transitioned from whiskey and cigars to the casual Old Fashioned after finishing the dishes. (I’m still owed one, just for the record, and I intend to take it this evening if possible.)
My choice this year is to embrace the holiday. Smother in it. Go ahead and drink those peppermint mochas and sweat the cholesterol after first of the year. Go ahead and start playing the Christmas songs the week of Thanksgiving while still at work, even the weird obscure British stuff about holly and the bleak midwinter and all those things that sound more like they ought to be part of a service at some Oxford chapel about six hundred years ago. Hell, go for that first. Keep creating confusion around presents to ensure some sense of surprise at what you actually get to open on the 25th. Go to the parties. Watch the movies. Soak up the moment, every moment, and worry about the future when it gets here.
Easier said than done, I know, but I’m going to give it a shot nonetheless.