Metro-East Living

We all need a little ‘weird’ Christmas spirit this year

You can find this “ugly sweater” at Kohl’s.
You can find this “ugly sweater” at Kohl’s.

This time of year, usually I’m asking readers to avoid acting holiday weird.

What is holiday weird? You know the signs. People become idealistic in search of the perfect holiday season. Expectations are set so high for perfection there’s nowhere to go but down.

Calm down, I’ve advised.

Be jolly, I’ve said, but not annoyingly jolly.

Up and down. Down and up. So go the many mood swings of the holiday season. But this year, I’m changing my tune. Please, please, please act holiday weird. Get up and be goofy. Downright. Say, “Hark!” a lot.

We’ll deal with the January blues when time comes.

Clear your throat. Sing along and aloud to all the traditional holiday songs. Get that special twinkle in your eyes that only Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole and a fireplace can bring. Bring on Alvin and the Chipmunks. Louder!

Wear those tacky holiday sweaters with the gold glitter that leaves a trail, and the red and green fuzzy balls that clog your vacuum.

Pause and write an old-fashioned tacky, form letter. Mail it to family and friends, telling them in vivid details about every event that touched you over the past year. Assume they care. They should. Send photos, too. Dress up the pets. Add a few nostalgic family photos, too, from Christmas past. Post, post, post!

Why am I advocating increased holiday weirdness this year? We need a distraction from politics.

Come all ye holiday weirdos! Fingers crossed. I’m burned out on politics. I remember the good old days when you could have a discussion on politics that didn’t end in an argument and being called names.

I can’t wait until we return to the days when Facebook is back to vacation photos, funny pet videos and family updates. Maybe a few jokes. The lighter side. Please. PLEASE!

Normally, I say the holiday season starts too early when I see decorations and sales in October. This year, well, I wish the ho, ho, ho’s would have started months ago.

We need the holiday spirit, now more than ever, weird or not.

Some suggestions to promote more holiday weirdness over the next month:

▪ Hype St. Nick’s Day — I’m on board with making St. Nick’s Day (Dec. 6) a big pre-holiday before the big holiday. Sure, I’ll tell my same old tale about when I received only a tangerine, a candy cane and a walnut for St. Nick’s Day. But this year, buy some gifts. Stuff some stockings. Drink some nog. It’s going to be St. Nick’s Day, and that’s a big, big deal.

▪ Be nostalgic, hopelessly — Reminisce. Remember. I will tell everyone about the weekend before Christmas, when we went to the Kiwanis tree lot next to Kroger’s on State Street in East St. Louis and chose a “Charlie Brown” tree. Holiday shopping? I will talk about when we made Christmas gifts for Mom and Dad in grade-school art class and when we circled all the toys in the annual Sears catalog as our wish list.

▪ Tacky is the new cool — Wear pieces of clothing homemade by you or a loved one. Glitter, glue and cotton balls welcomed. This year, it’s cool to wear clothes that leave a trail. Fuzzy-ball hats work for all guys, business or pleasure. Bells are cool, too. It’s cheery but also gives others advance warning you’re coming.

▪ TV time — Watch holiday TV favorites like “The Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation” and “Charlie Brown Christmas.” Have watch parties. Put clips on Facebook and Twitter.

▪ Music time — Listen to Christmas music non-stop. Sing along. Dean Martin. Bono. Bruce. Bing. Snap your fingers. Sway your hips. Hum if you don’t know all the words. Bounce back for the refrain, loudly.

▪ Go to the Cardinals Hall of Fame at Ballpark Village — It’s the one place where politics don’t matter. Democrats support Republicans, and vice versa. Immigrants are cheered. Hold Stan’s old bat. Where can we all get along? The ballpark, or nearby.

▪ Stop talking politics! — You can’t be holiday weird and politically rude at the same time. It’s oil and water. Sweet and sour. Trump and Hillary. Oops. Sorry.