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The next morning I called my mom.
"So, how did your Christmas dinner go?"
"When did the police have to be called?"
I am not making this up.
That alternate reality Christmas turned me around, I think. For years I didn't decorate (in fact a neighbour put a box of Christmas lights on my doorstep as a hint) but then I gradually found myself wanting to. The next year I got a tree and decorated it with Red Trojan condom packages because I still wanted people to laugh. Funnily enough my friends were just stunned that I had decorated at all and didn't notice what the decorations were made of. It totally ruins the effect when you have to point it out...
Then I created a character for the old Winterstart Festivals called the Festive Patrol where I decorate myself like a walking Christmas tree and admonish people to be more festive, make them sing carols and kiss under my "traveling mistletoe" wand.
Now if walking around Whistler Village when it's all decked out in its festive finery making people kiss doesn't get you in the spirit of things then you're, well, hopeless.
I'm even getting to the point where I know how to cheer up friends who get a little down on the Christmas thing.
A friend called the other day and said she'd been writing her Christmas cards and listening to carols. "It just makes me want to cry," she moaned. "This time of year always gets to me."
Helpfully, I said. "Well that's not hard to fix. Just put on some ACDC instead."
Apparently it worked!
I still have my cynical moments. My "Scrooge was Right" Party for instance, can seem a bit negative. It features a Pie the Carolers station, Elf Tossing, Untangle the Mini Light Relay and desperate gift wrapping (wrapping gifts with no tape, butt ends of wrapping paper and bandaids). But it's really fun!
It's taken a few years to get here, but our household decorates now in the Griswald family fashion, which means 'completely overboard.' We're even going to get a real live tree under the hydro lines today.
It just snowed 26 cm and Whistler, at Christmas, is truly the best place to be whether you like it or not.
You know, I think this is going to be the best Christmas. EVER!
Some Christmas Quotes: