I have a friend who falls into hibernation mode on the day of the dead. She burrows away in her suburban home with a herd of cats, a crackling fireplace, and a good book. As a late October baby, I used to love kicking off fall, embracing the changing color of the leaves along with the new year. Lately, though, I find myself following in her footsteps, as soon as the Halloween candy disappears into the greedy hands of goblins and ghouls, Power Rangers and clones of Darth Vader. My desire to socialize wanes and I am suddenly grateful for the automatic downloads of a library queue filled with murder mysteries and chick lit. And Finn, my source of unconditional love curled at my feet.
Later this week after a turkey dinner and a closeted day inside while the rest of the world creates havoc at the shopping mall, the onset of the Christmas season will begin. First, there will be sightings of mistletoe hung over doorways, holly and cinnamon-scented candles, a pine comb wreath. There’s sure to be an endless earworm of Christmas music, and the on-air promotion of favorite holiday classics like Rudolph and Frosty, and of course, a mixture of Festivus celebrations. If we’re lucky, we might even get snow.
Amidst all that chaos and inevitable confusion, I will undoubtedly have to remind myself to breathe … bracing myself for the arrival of the annual house ghosts. We all have them you know, it’s not just Scrooge who can feel their lingering effects.
I will welcome those memories with a bittersweet embrace as I strain to hear the laughter of my boisterous, multi-generational family crowded around the large mahogany trestle table. The clinking of glasses, the tremor of knees bouncing on the wood floor with the aroma of garlic in the air.