Even before the pumpkins started rotting on our doorsteps, many stores in Kensington had decked their halls with boughs of holly.
Yes, whether we like it or not, Christmas has already come to Calgary. Which is definitely strange for a city that hasn’t had a Santa Claus parade since 2006. It’s not just decorations that are foreshadowing the festive time of year, this past weekend I went to my first Christmas party and before you know it, Lite 96 will switch to its all-Christmas song format, thus ensuring that not a single hour will go by without hearing Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas.
Since our city has a tradition of over-celebrating (see: Cheryl Bernard’s Rink, The Red Mile, Barb Higgins’ headquarters in August), it’s really no surprise the Christmas season now extends to before Remembrance Day.
While there’s probably an argument for the holiday becoming too commercial, let’s be honest, if Christmas was only contained to our four vacation days in December, when we are forced to sleep in our tiny childhood bed and indulge our parents in rum-and-eggnog-induced conversation about our personal lives, we’d go crazy.
Thanks to the unofficially instituted two months of merry-making, we’re now able to attend dozens overly done Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties, spend hours staring at the Shaw TV fireplace waiting for that new log and get that head start on last year’s Christmas cards. Most importantly, with Christmas comes mistletoe, which essentially allows you to kiss a complete stranger without having to buy them dinner or mini-doughnuts. Why this plant’s magical powers are not celebrated year round is one of life’s biggest mysteries.
While this city has a great reputation of being nice to everyone all year, we really show our true colours during the holidays. For the next two months, as we twist and weave through the +15, it is impossible not to hear everyone wishing each other “Happy Holidays” or old friends catching up. So why not enjoy it? Because in January, when you are sitting in traffic for two hours due to a snowfall warning or trying to navigate our snowy sidewalks, you’re going to yearn for the days when people smiled and said Merry Christmas to complete strangers.
Now seriously, where is our Santa Claus parade?