Monday, November 2, 2009

Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La!

I cannot believe it! I’m so excited! It’s here – it’s FINALLY here! The Christmas season has begun! If I could pick one word to describe my elation, it would be “Hallelujah”! Now, you may wonder how I know that the opening of the Christmas season is upon us? What has made me privy to this valuable information? In fact a spark of jealousy may be ignited in you as you wonder “Why does Mary Balagna get first dibs on making this long-awaited and anticipated announcement?” Well – the reason is that I am very diligent about checking the music channel line-up on our cable television. There is a station (Channel 882) called “Sounds of the Season”. As of this weekend, the sounds of the current season were eerie Halloween tunes BUT – when I checked the line-up this morning I was thrilled to hear Karen and Richard Carpenter serenading me with “It’s Christmas Time” from their 1978 Christmas Portrait Album. And THAT'S when I came to the realization that – The Christmas Season is Here and it’s up to me to spread the word!

Now, there are those naysayers who insist that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Well, DUH! I KNOW that it’s not Thanksgiving yet. In fact, I’m grateful that it’s NOT Thanksgiving yet, because that would mean that the Christmas season is half over. In addition, I am so grateful for Thanksgiving - a holiday that gives me permission to offer thanks for the all of my blessings – blessings which include the Christmas season.

I often wonder how I can possibly get so excited about Christmas year after year after year. What is it that causes me to simply explode when I think about all of the upcoming celebrations, traditions, music, movies, TV shows, gatherings, etc.? I guess it’s just in my blood. I was raised with it and I raised my family with it. As a child, I loved watching “White Christmas” each Christmas eve with my Dad. I loved when my grandmother came over for Christmas Eve dinner. I loved when I sang with the grade school choir at Midnight Mass. Even today, I love reading the Christmas Story from the Book of Luke in the Bible. I love watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. I love decorating each of our 14+ Christmas trees – displayed throughout the house. I love hanging our Christmas stockings in the entry. I love my Nativity collection – each celebrating the birth of our Savior in its own special way. I love, love, LOVE the music (except for “Blue Christmas”). I love our church’s annual cookie exchange. I love holiday parties. I love Christmas sweaters and Christmas shoes. I love Linus’ soliloquy as he shares what Christmas is all about with Charlie Brown. I love the scent of Christmas Candles and Christmas Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls. I love Christmas movies and I truly believe that "It IS A Wonderful Life"! I love peace on earth and I love to offer goodwill toward all men, women and children. I really believe that most people share those same sentiments - although, I wish peace on earth and goodwill toward men would radiate from each person throughout the year, rather than simply during this season. But... we can always hope for that someday... I do know that you, our blanketeers, DO offer goodwill toward all men, women and children throughout the year. Your gifts of handmade blankets offer peace to those experiencing turmoil and crisis - and this, in turn, gives ME peace and hope. In a nutshell, this is why I love Christmas.

We still have some tickets available for our Appreciation Breakfast on December 3rd. This is a great way to become acquainted with Project Linus or introduce your friends to our organization. It’s also a wonderful way to usher in the holiday season. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the end to a tremendous 2009 and look forward to a banner 2010! Please e-mail for details on purchasing tickets.

Happy Blanketmaking!

FYI – I start listening to Christmas music on September 1.