Call it the “other season.” None of the others compare. It’s cold, but truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Seasons and seasonal celebrations be damned, none of them has anything on Christmas. It’s not an official season per se (as the four annual seasonal ones), but anywhere from December 24 to January 1st or 2nd of the next year, which one can even refer to as the ‘overlap season’. But one can say with little or no argument that it’s the best, most wonderful time of the year.
One can even call it the “happy season.” Because it’s so short – just one week – people go all out to squeeze as much fun as they possibly can out of it. At least that’s how I see it, not much argument there.
For those who will choose to read this, it’s an occasion for having made it through another grueling year; which is a reason to celebrate. The spiritual aspect is one thing; the celebratory one is a kind of bonus. Many people will have a good reason to engage in all forms of R&R. The holidays are a special time.
As those (who) celebrate the birth of Jesus, or not, one can feel, smell, taste, hear, see… (in any order you wish) Christmas; it’s ubiquitous.
The other day I was in the presence of someone who’s truly not one for sentimentality having a telephone conversation. In keeping with the season Christmas/holiday music was the euphonious backdrop. So that person, as if just bitten by the Christmas bug stated: “It’s truly a nice time…”
Guess he was quietly imbibing all the ingredients that lend to the mood that constitutes the approaching celebratory season. How can anyone of whatever religious or other persuasion–Christian or otherwise—not enjoy the current seasonal vibe that Christmas, or as some say, “the holiday season” entails, is beyond me.
Over the years I’ve heard of people who talk about being “depressed…” or “stressed” at this time of year. I still cannot understand why. Religion and cultural background, yes! Not everyone is of the Christian faith. Thing is, though, that ubiquitous, palpable atmosphere that constitutes Christmas, “the holiday season”, is so overwhelming…
I imagine other people have other very personal reasons why they’re not down with [into] Christmas. Here’s one some people, immigrants for example, who are thousands of miles away from loved ones and extended families, or have lost a loved one. So as the ‘happy season’ approaches I imagine that this is how some are affected.
So as the joyous/joyful season sets in, I can think of a very specific reason for some people not feeling the Christmas vibe, the loss of a family member for example. See, death is not predicated on time of year or season; sad as it might/may be there’s no off-season where death and dying are concerned.
Everyday is dying season, and in my world this was a banner one. Many people I’ve come to know fairly well over the years, or was familiar with to some extent, departed this world in 2019.
Unfortunately, and for various reasons, I was unable to attend certain funerals. When asked in death and dying conversations how come I wasn’t at ABC…XYZs “going home” celebration, with all due respect to the next of kin of a specific deceased… I give a simple answer: “I’m funeralled out.”
I’ve been to so many of them in my lifetime.
That’s how I responded when asked by someone while in attendance at another funeral last weekend, someone, a former Montrealer that I’ve known for a few decades who just disappeared to Toronto I soon found out. Sadly, he became ill and moved back home to be closer to family. He died late last month.
Coincidentally, other people I met at funeral say they too feel the same way: funeralled out.”
I forget my first funeral service of 2019, but remember what I hope will be the last one of the year, last weekend’s.
Prior to that was a cousin, in October, followed by a close family friend… cousin shortly after. Then there was an uncle, a resident of Queens, NY, who also departed in October after a brief illness.
But as far as death/funerals go, the saddest of all was the 19-year-old cousin who was looking forward to a young… adult life and future of possibilities. He sadly made an early exit in late summer, leaving many sullen faces and teary eyes to nourish the flowers decorating his final resting place.
Needless to say, when that young fruit fell from a branch of the proverbial tree of life it was a shock to everyone who knew him, especially his numerous school friends. Worse, according to the law of nature, parents should not outlive children.
With that in mind I’m an adult orphan of the next generation crop, preparing… My mother and father, and now two uncles on my mother’s side, one of whom predeceased them by over three decades, have made their exit. So I’m forced to reluctantly step in line for the inevitable journey.
But I’m not ready – yet. So I requested an extension, some added time on life, to complete unfinished worldly life’s business… beginning with enjoying the looming “other season” last Christmas of the 2000s, much like the recently departed Prince (who back when partied like it’s 1999).
“And so this is Christmas… the most wonderful time of the year…” A reason for all who survived 2019, unscathed, to celebrate… and cap it off the last day of the year in a celebratory way.
Who knows, maybe next year at this time you… we’ll be accounted for, and tagged and saved as some of those who didn’t answer the ominous roll call.
Right now it’s about getting ready to enjoy the last Christmas celebration of the decade that’s quickly running out, and preparing for another milestone year by partying like it’s 2020.