It’s the Holiday Season, which means I’m already knee-deep in watching Christmas movies, reading Christmas comics, and listening to Christmas music. (I’ve also eaten roughly my body weight in cookies, but that’s not really any different from the norm, let’s be entirely honest.) It’s become tradition for me at this time of the year, to utterly surrender to as much Christmas media as possible without losing my mind.
What’s particularly fun about this is that the media itself becomes a tradition in the process. Chloe and I make a point to watch Miracle on 34th Street on Thanksgiving, and Holiday Inn as soon as possible after that, because both movies have come to symbolize the start of the season for us; similarly, every year, we watch White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life as close to the actual holiday as possible. (The latter is a Christmas Eve staple for us, already.)
If movies as the object of tradition is a relatively recent phenomenon for me, music has long been something that I’ve placed a lot of holiday tradition faith in; one of my earliest Christmas memories is riding in a car with my dad, listening to Christmas music and delivering Christmas cards. (We did that every year together until I left home for art school; my sisters dropped out of it, but I never did — it always felt like a special way for the two of us to spend time together.)
I have lists of favorite Christmas songs that, thankfully, get updated almost every single year — I’m constantly discovering new music that feels immediately necessary to celebrate the season, thankfully. (Even if that music might be relatively old overall; Lord Executor is a thing of the past for most, after all, but “Christmas is a Joyful Day” is only something I discovered in the last few days. Same with Imperial Drag’s “Please Leave Me Home for Christmas,” uncovered decades after they split up.)
There are, of course, ways to feel Christmassy that have nothing to do with the songs or the shows — things to do with the joy and love of the season, the excitement of celebrating the generosity and affection that abounds. But every single year, I can’t hit play soon enough on all the festive treats that make it happen artificially.