There is an epidemic in our town. In our state maybe. Probably all over. It is even pervading my own house. It is not the mutant flu strain that has slipped by the defenses of the All Important Flu shot. It is not the head lice, the fleas, the bacterial staph infection, the pnuemonia or the vomiting stomach virus that is sweeping our ranks, although all of those are just gross.
This epidemic is lethal. The death rate is higher than E68 or even Ebola. It is more contagious than ringworm, which, as we all know, is spread by mere imagination.
This plague is killing at alarming rates. It is cascading from house to house like a tsunami, and it must be stopped.
It is the Scrooge virus.
It is December 5th. To date, I have heard no fewer than 12 people complain about Christmas Music, and being sick of it already. And Christmas lights, and how annoying they are. We don't even have a tree up and my very own children are put out by the stress of Holiday Traditions.
WHAT. THE. HECK.
Once a year, we get to be like little children, without shame. We get to believe. We get to sparkle. Once a year. It's less than a month, people. How sad are we that we can't stand to hear "Marshmallow World" after only 5 days. What is wrong with us that "Here Comes Santa Claus" doesn't make each and every one of us giddy. Shame on us for growing up. Shame on us for Not Believing.
I have tried to explain to people why I love the movie Elf. In spite of the love/hate dichotomy that Will Ferrel presents in social circles, Elf tells the story of belief. Of simple faith and hope and JOY. To ALL OF THE WORLD. Elf celebrates childlike joy. Nothing could be more biblical, more under protected, more valuable to this world.
It struck me today, at work, in the middle of a 7 hour Christmas Music Attack on The Humbug, that our holiday music has evolved. If you listen to anything pre-1970, with the exception, perhaps, of Elvis crooning about his Blue Christmas, holiday music was full of Santa Claus and Reindeer and toys and Children Behaving and Snow and Snowmen and ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS THINGS! And then WHAM! We grew up. Christmas became about our jilted lovers and broken hearts and what, even revenge? Not that there isn't a special place in my heart for Last Christmas, and pretty much Mariah Carey's entire holiday album - but I feel like we got a little lost. And maybe, it's time to go back. Or at least to remember what was so flipping awesome about a reindeer with a glowing nose and a snowman that ran through town. Because Lord knows, the Rat Pack can't have been wrong about everything.
And I will continue to be the ridiculous parent, ala National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, trying desperately, to make it the Best Christmas Ever. For my kids, and everyone's kids. Freezing your eyes shut looking for a tree, and electrocuting the neighbor cat with our Bohemian Gingerbread House Lights. Because GOSH DARNIT, I BELIEVE.
So take that, Scrooguloccocous. You ain't got nothing on me. And even if my kids bring you home with them from school like head lice, because Santa isn't cool, you'll get the same treatment that the ringworm and the staph infections got. SMACK. DOWN. Because we believe in Christmas. We believe in magic. We believe in the magic of family. And love. and Joy and Forgiveness. And I, for one, won't stop Singing Loud For All To Hear or wearing RIDICULOUS reindeer antlers to work, etc, etc, etc. So get back, all you humbugs. It's The Holidays.