Reader Warning: If you happen to be a Grinch and have disdain for Christmas and other things jolly and festive, then drop this newspaper now and save yourself the irritation.
I suppose it’s accurate to refer to the current scenario at the House of Hodge as training camp for Christmas.
Holy holly, the Christmas season has already burst into full gear at our humble abode and while I like to feign disbelief at it all and blame ‘the wife,’ I am equally to blame for the chaos and disarray.
With our official (self-imposed) No Christmas until Nov. 15 kick-off date now passed, an endless pile of Christmas decorations and goodies are already flooding into the entrance way of our home.
The miniature mountain of storage tubs and boxes have erupted between the entrance hall and the kitchen—in addition to other traditional tell-tale signs suggesting Santa is back on our radar.
As far as Tez and I are concerned, Christmas season cannot come soon enough or last too long.
The wide eyed wonderment of the festive season has never really left my world—and I am happy for it.
If not for a respect of war veterans we’d likely start decorating the yard and house the day after Halloween.
In fact, I could probably be convinced to create a bylaw eliminating Halloween simply so we could get on with Christmas at the end of August.
I am not sure exactly when my passion for the festive Christmas season became a full blown addiction, but now it is a habit I fully embrace with no apologies.
As a youngster, I was constantly awed by the lights, presents, songs, movies and yummy baking which accompanies Christmas.
However, I think the biggest attraction has always been the joyful and positive adjustment in attitude the season has on so many.
Thankfully Tez is just as stoked about Christmas as I am.
So I was not totally shocked when I arrived home from a day of debates at City Hall earlier this week and was instantly greeted with the intoxicatingly lovely aroma of freshly baked shortbread cookies.
Nothing says Merry Christmas better than a tray of shortbread cookies cut in the shape of bells or snowmen.
Shortbread was only the beginning as Tez then opened the spare room to show off three miniature Christmas trees she crafted out of inverted tomato cages wrapped in tree bows and lights.
It seems the conversion from humble home to North Pole workshop is fully under way.
Decorating the house from head to toe in early November is a habit I adopted 10 years ago during the first Night of the Arts fundraising concert I organized.
Since the event was meant as a community kick-off to Christmas, I figured the after party at my house should involve Christmas decorations.
The habit of early decorations never ended even when the concerts did.
Traditionally, our home is literally stuffed with lights and decorations in every nook and cranny, but there is a wrinkle in the plans for this season.
Actually, four wrinkles—disguised as six month-old male kittens.
I am not sure if it is the kitten factor or the gender influence, but either way the House of Hodge is pretty much a literal zoo at the best of times lately with the four bundles of fur traversing the house at full speed.
Four mini bulls in a china shop, using tables, chairs, counters, furniture, etc. as part of the race track and jump and bounce circuit.
The only thing that Chaos, Trouble, Bandit, and Fluffy Little Bear specialize in more than full out play is making Tez and I chuckle.
So it goes without explanation that the new additions to the indoor neighbourhood will mean a major retrofit and recalculation of the regular holiday decorations—starting with the Christmas tree, or perhaps lack thereof.
I, for one, vote no to the putting up of a Christmas tree this year but I have a hunch Tez is going to insist on one.
She will at least want an effort made to attempt putting one up this year. (My votes gets as little notice at home as they do in Kelowna council chambers).
I know where the tree vote is going and I predict a CATastrophe.
I can already visualize four kittens dangling from branches, batting the day lights out of anything shiny or breakable.
There may be something to be said for putting up a tree with no branches the first three feet.
For that matter, we are probably best not to put up any decorations below shoulder height —anywhere. Either that or be prepared to never leave the house.
As I write this column Little Bear is running around the living room with a green bow in his mouth, Bandit is rolling about in pile of Christmas lights, and Chaos has decided a goofy looking stuffed reindeer looks like a great cuddle companion.
I have no idea where the fourth ball of fur is but with a name like Trouble I am confident it can’t be good. Hmm…the open box of wrapping paper just moved.
Yes, Christmas has hit our home with a reckless abandon like no other year in the past and all I can say is, ho ho ho, bring it on.