I started to panic today when I realized that Christmas is less than a week away. Not because I have so many presents left to buy or have seasonal affective disorder, but because I only have six more days to listen to Harry Connick Jr.’s Christmas album before people start to raise an eyebrow, six more days to wear offensive tartan underwear, and six more days to dance around a severed pine tree, bake cookies that look like snow blobs, and drink heavily spiked egg nog for breakfast.
In my state of hysteria, I decided to spend the entire weekend doing only holiday-related things to calm my fears. As I type this, so much snow is falling to the ground that my Christmas-related activity tomorrow will probably be shoveling my path and throwing snowballs at loudmouth college kids, but if I can do it while bellowing “All I want for Christmas is You,” then I’ll be thrilled. After all, it would be hard to top the joy that the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival provided with its three-foot penguins running on the roofs of gingerbread houses, bears cartwheeling in red tuxedos, and every other fuzzy wuzzy animal and Christmas thing that appeals to children or adults named Karin Tanabe who clearly smoked too much pot in high school.