You Can Plan on Me

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the song goes. Or, at least, we’ve made it to the part of the year when the decorations can go up and we can start listening to the many, many holiday songs I have in my collection. Either way, it’s a marvelously comforting time of year for me, even if I’m not quite ready to go as far as Andy Williams does when he declares it “the most! Wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the yeaaaaaar.” (Actually, it may be, although I also feel pretty strongly about fall.)

It’s December, is what I’m saying.

With 2020 being the surreal, difficult experience that it’s been, just the simple fact that we’ve made it here feels almost unlikely in and of itself, to be honest. If it wasn’t for the weather, you could probably convince me that we’re still only midway through the year, the way time has stretched out and felt elastic and meaningless, for one thing; is it really eight months since I found out I was losing my Wired gig? How can that be true? What happened to all the traditional landmarks that happen across the year to remind us that we’re moving forward?

Of course, it’s also been the kind of year that’s underscored how ridiculous the notion of things changing purely because of time moving on actually is; just because we’re in the last month of the year doesn’t really mean anything in the big picture — we will, more than likely, still be living quarantine lives for much of next year, and there’s not even the transition of Presidential power until the end of January. Things aren’t going to significantly shift when we put away the Advent Calendar and the tree.

Yet, bringing those things out, celebrating this time of year and taking part in everything surrounding it, still matters to me, despite the logic and the knowing better. There’s still comfort and security and happiness to be found there, for me, in the music and the decorations and traditions old and new. The holiday season is, at heart, about hope and kindness, and that’s what I find myself focusing on over everything else — a hope that, against logic, perhaps, we can be in a kinder world at least for the next month.

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