(I hope you read that in the voice of that one girl who does an impression of Drew Barrymore in No Strings Attached. Because I did. If you haven’t seen that movie, then I suppose you could have just skipped this interjection.)
So, I woke up at 2:00 am this morning. 2;00 am. Dose. A full two hours past midnight. I’ll just let that sink in for a second. Now why was I up at 2:00 am? My Air Force husband is currently going through Air Assault School and had to go on a 12 mile ruck this morning – military lingo for a long run/walk thing with about 70lbs of weight packed into their big camo backpacks (if he heard me say “backpack” he’d correct me with the proper terminology, but I don’t really care). I tried to go back to sleep, I truly did, but our new dog, Maggie, who I am totally and irrevocably in love with, at all acceptable hours, is playing with her tug of war toy. By herself. She’s growling, rolling on the floor, and effectively smacking herself in the face with the rubber football on the other end of the rope. Making a lot of noise. She obviously doesn’t understand what “It’s too early, go back to bed” or “It’s not playtime now” means.
Anyways, I digress. I’m not writing about my husband’s annoying 2:00 am Military wake-up call or our goofy new dog, I’m writing about something much more serious. Something that is plaguing America as we speak (Type? Read?). The first reported incidence was a few weeks ago, and even if you have this affliction, you may not even be aware. The side effects are extremely strong however others might possibly notice them before you do. And this affliction is highly contagious. It’s Early Onset Christmas Mania, or EOCM.
See, my “Happy Holidays” thing really did have a point. I knew you were wondering.
This disease has been around for decades and can affect all of us. Those particularly vulnerable are women who shop at Hobby Lobby. Three words of advice: JUST STAY AWAY. Another applicable word triplet: JUST SAY NO.
I want to make you aware because this morning, when I woke up at 2:00 am (ugh), I started to feel the symptoms associated with EOCM: Mental list making, visually planning the mantle decorations, Pinterest scrolling, and the urge to buy garland and a wreath from One King’s Lane. I had been to Hobby Lobby earlier in the week and just the other day I had been watching the never-ending supply of Lifetime Christmas Movies on TV. I should have seen this coming and done something to prevent this, but I, like most who suffer from EOCM, have a weakness; a weakness for Michael Buble’s Holiday album.
But in all seriousness folks, why have we skipped from Halloween straight to Christmas? I know today is November 17th, but I’m writing this on the 6th and I know that some of you are already singing carols and baking gingerbread. And some of you started this ridiculousness on the 1st or even before! Denial won’t make your recovery any easier. I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my most favorite holidays but I feel like it most often gets treated like the redheaded stepchild of holidays. Thanksgiving back in Nebraska is spent surrounded by my humongous, crazy family and my parents go all out with the delicious food. In just one week, 30 of my relatives will gather at my parents house in Nebraska and sit down together to eat way too much food, drink a little too much wine (mom), and laugh until their sides hurt. Some of my uncles and cousins (and my dad) will fall asleep in the living room and the boys will eat all the rolls before the gravy runs out. But unfortunately, for the first time in 23 years, I wont be there, and I feel like maybe that’s why EOCM has hit me so hard this year.
However, Thanksgiving in the Butler household shall prevail! We will be observing our perspective family traditions, making way too much food, hopefully having some other military members and their spouses over to make the house feel a little more full, and the Christmas tree will stay in the closet until the turkey has been completely carved and the mashed potatoes are fully consumed.
I urge all of you, if you are currently suffering from EOCM or are worried about a loved one who could succumb to this serious affliction, just say no. Say no to the lights and the decorations and the garland and Santa figurines until November 27th! Make some turkey cookies (go check out my last article on a fun and yummy activity to do with your kids, friends, or husband!), watch the Macy’s Parade, go outside and take a walk and enjoy the crisp fall air and the leaves that will soon disappear under a blanket of snow. Enjoy the season of Thanksgiving and be thankful for your loved ones that you get to spend this special holiday with!
And on the 27th, go hog wild with all the Christmas hoopla you’d like! You already know I’m going to have Mr. Buble on repeat.