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Hunker Down with Kes

What Happened To The 12 Days Of Christmas?

By Kesley Colbert
Posted 11/15/22

I don’t want to hear any talk of being a scrooge. And no, my Mother didn’t drop me on my head when I was a child. My Father never abandoned us. I didn’t get left in the parking lot at Junior’s J&J Grocery Store...and have recurring nightmares of no one coming to look for me.

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Hunker Down with Kes

What Happened To The 12 Days Of Christmas?

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I don’t want to hear any talk of being a scrooge. And no, my Mother didn’t drop me on my head when I was a child. My Father never abandoned us. I didn’t get left in the parking lot at Junior’s J&J Grocery Store...and have recurring nightmares of no one coming to look for me.
 
I’m just about as normal as the next guy.
 
And there is nothing bah humbug about this story. I like everything pertaining to the Christmas season. Except maybe, I’m not a big fan of eggnog. Or red and green argyle socks.
 
I can be as merry as a holly jolly elf watching the last load leave Santa’s workshop. I can sing “Deck the Halls” and “Little Drummer Boy” with resounding gusto. I can string Christmas lights and hang “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments with the best of them.
 
But I do think we’ve expanded the Christmas season just a half tick past reality. OK, maybe a whole tick...
 
I believe it was Pete Seeger and God who wrote, “To everything (turn, turn, turn), There is a season (turn, turn, turn), And a time to every purpose under Heaven...”
 
And starting Christmas ads before you have a chance to “trick or treat” or get lost in a Halloween corn maze just seems a’bit out of season. It’s the cart before the horse kind’a thing. It’s the egg before the chicken...no, wait a minute...that’s the chicken before...
 
It’s almost like all these folks pushing the pre-pre-Christmas hoopla at us are just in it for the money!
 
There is something inherently wrong about peddling Christmas in October. It’s like we are watering down two holidays and stringing one out so long that we can easily grow weary and forget the reason for the whole celebration in the first place.
 
The Miracle on 34th Street didn’t take place in November! 
 
Before I could eat all of the candy corn I secretly sent my grandchildren out to collect for me, I received 126 Christmas magazines in the mail entreating me to purchase gifts for my friends. They offered everything from steaks, peanuts and oranges to popcorn, makeup, festive hosiery, picture frames and underwear in 12 different sizes...
 
I can tell you, I don’t have that many friends! AND, come to think of it, you’d have to have a lot of courage to buy makeup for some of the women on my list...
 
Maybe Mom did let me slip off her lap a time or two.
 
One of the reasons we got so scared by those Halloween ghosts and goblins as kids was because we didn’t have Christmas on our minds when the darkness began to fall and the wind twisted diabolically through the trees. We were dead certain positive that it was Leon behind that bloody hatchet faced mask...BUT what if it wasn’t?
 
I ran my first marathon when I was six years old. It was the Halloween night something or somebody swooped down behind me just as I came out of the Jaycee’s Haunted House up across from the old City Hall. I was running so fast I missed my house and sprinted all the way to Como before my legs gave out.
 
Believe you me, Halloween demanded, and got, our undivided attention!
 
It was the same with Thanksgiving. Shucks, we got two days out of school. We weren’t about to waste them Christmas shopping! Silver bells and boughs of holly never crossed our minds! Now, for sure, most of us kids ate a lot more than we gave thanks...but the point is we dedicated ourselves to the holiday.
 
And the family gathered around that table has gotten much more precious as the years have rolled along. What if we had lost those memories by thinking, or hoping, or wishing something was coming along a month later to top that!
 
And, of course, at the proper time, we turned out hearts toward Christmas. Listen, you couldn’t believe the anticipation as the December days dwindled toward the 25th. It would have busted your mind wide open to have carried that much excitement, that much eagerness, that much expectation around in one little body for a whole two months!
 
And besides, we couldn’t start Christmas early. We had no artificial trees. Me, Leon and David Mark marched out in the woods and cut a real tree down a week or so before the big day. If we had put up a tree earlier than that, it would have been as brown as a Kodiak bear rug by Christmas morning.
 
And my one package under the tree would have been covered with dropped-off pine needles.
 
So here’s the moral to today’s story. If you don’t want dead limbs all over your Christmas present, wait until the Yuletide season actually gets here to do your Christmasing...
 
Respectfully,
 
Kes

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