Before the year runs out, let’s share some thoughts about items related to both the holiday season and the LGBT+ community. First off, hats off (finally) to Hallmark Channel. They have long been synonymous with such ooey-gooey, feel-good, holiday movies as Married in Time for Christmas, A Snow-Covered Countryside Christmas, and Get Your Lazy Butt Off the Couch and Put Up the Tree Because It’s Christmas! Okay, I made up all those titles (that last one especially), but you get an idea of how the holiday season — and seemingly only one holiday in particular — have become Hallmark’s stock in trade.
Earlier this morning, Male Mode Me was scrolling through his Instagram feed and noticed a post regarding a certain local “holiday” I had completely forgotten about:
Four years ago, in this post, I talked about “Hippie Christmas.” That’s the name for the time period, normally on or around the 15th day of August, when many off-campus apartments in the downtown and UW areas of Madison see their leases expire, and the students who occupied said places move into other digs. When they do so, they tend to leave on the curb items they no longer have a use for. If said items are in good condition, the apartments’ new tenants may make them their own. If not them, perhaps someone who believes in sustainability who just happened to walk past will claim the item (hence the “hippie” in the holiday name).
This Wednesday, of course, will be Christmas Day, a holiday that finds many spending time with their loved ones, or at least that’s the ideal. Of course, not every person, for one reason or another, will have that chance. That will be the case again for me this Christmas once again. For the fourth year in a row, the rest of my family will be busy, either because they’re working (my mom, in her caregiver role), spending time with the in-laws (my sister and her family), or just want a quiet day at home (my younger sister and her husband).
It’s after 5:30PM in Madison as I write this, and my Christmas Day 2017 was… rather lonely. For the second year in a row, my family had our annual Christmas get together and gift exchange on a day other than Christmas Day. Last year, it was on New Year’s Eve. This year, it was last Saturday, the 23rd. So, my Christmas Day was spent working on the computer and sending an important (for me) e-mail; exercising in the gym at work at midday; cleaning house in the afternoon; and writing this post in the evening. Yeah, I tend to live the exciting life, don’t I? (Note the sarcasm there.)
I don’t need to remind you that this is the holiday season, though I should remind you that it’s only 5 days until Christmas Day as I write this (better get that shopping done très rapide). This is the season chock full of traditions that normal people never get tired of: There’s the tree. The ornaments. The decorations. The greeting cards to send out. The shopping for presents. The carols and carolers. The ugly sweaters. And candy canes, sugar plums, and other similar stuff loaded with too much sugar.
Speaking of things loaded with too much sugar, the holiday season also has its share of TV specials and movies that are run on an annual basis and become oh so addictive to the eyes and brain. This post is about the holiday movies, specifically those that are found on the cable network Hallmark Channel. For those who don’t have cable, Hallmark Channel’s stock in trade is programming that makes the hearts of its audience, primarily families and older adults, go “Awww…” when they watch it. You know, just like a Hallmark greeting card. (Yes, Hallmark Channel is owned by the Hallmark greeting card company.) The last two months of each year, Hallmark Channel goes all out in the Christmas spirit by offering wall-to-wall airings of movies and specials — but mostly, if not exclusively, movies — billed as Countdown to Christmas.
Just thought I’d dedicate this post to some random holiday-related thoughts on this, 7 days after the American Thanksgiving Day. First, a very-late question for my fellow Americans: How was your Thanksgiving Day? Mine was spent with my immediate family (mother, stepfather, sisters, their families) at Mom’s place. Or to describe it more precisely, the combination lounge/kitchen on the first floor of Mom’s senior apartment building. Since our extended family is too big for Mom’s modestly-sized apartment, Mom reserved the lounge for our Thanksgiving shindig. On the good side, the lounge is pretty spacious and was perfect for our big family. However, the newness of the first all-family Thanksgiving at Mom’s apartment building didn’t give the day that “at home” feeling I always felt whenever Mom at her old house or Sis at hers hosted whatever holiday shindig we would have.
While I’m spending part of my Saturday morning bathing in the euphoria from and thinking up a post documenting my poetry performance Friday night (an awesome evening all around), I want to make a quick addition to “Allison’s Jukebox.” Have a listen to “Diamonds and Pearls,” the 1991 hit by Prince and The New Power Generation.
So, here it is, the day after Christmas 2016, and you’re probably wondering how my holiday went. Well, I didn’t do too much on Sunday. The reason for that? For only the third time in my life, though the second time in five years, I spent Christmas Day away from my family. The reason for that is that my family had to reschedule our Christmas Day get-together as my little sister’s daughters had to spend the weekend with their father/her ex-husband (every other weekend, he gets to be with them, and Christmas weekend just happened to be his next turn). And since my other sister and our mom didn’t clue me in on any of their plans for the day, I didn’t make the 2-hour trip and instead stayed here in Madison.
This post is to promote a new video I added to my relatively spare but strangely bustling YouTube channel, and it’s about the Christmas tree set up in my apartment this season. But there’s something I must confess (no, not that): I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year.
Now, you’ve probably taken a glance at that video’s title and thought, “Gee, Allison, you have a tree and decorations set up, so you must be in the holiday spirit.” Well, I decorate my apartment each holiday season for two reasons: To let the great decorations I have in storage out of the broom closet for several weeks at the end of each year (and I have some nice ornaments), and to try to perk myself up and get into the holiday spirit.