(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 49)
I like Christmas.
I like it a lot.
But I try to be moderate about it.
I have certain rules - no decorations until after Thanksgiving, that kind of thing.
But with Thanksgiving happening so early this year, I feel like I'm breaking all of my own rules.
This week was mostly still November...and I am already all in on the Christmas season.
I don't love the store turnover in most seasons. Everything is creeping earlier and earlier - the Halloween stuff too early in September...we'll be seeing Easter stuff on the shelves soon.
But Christmas is different.
I'll go into a store in mid-November and cry out loud to everyone, "Why are there Christmas decorations everywhere?! It's not even Thanksgiving yet!" But meanwhile I'll be whispering to a clerk [I love what you've done with the place!]
You just won't be seeing me put up those decorations at home until Thanksgiving has happened.
And then it starts small and grows big pretty quickly.
Like I mentioned last week - I'll be out raking leaves and I'll bring out one decoration and then before I know it I've got all the lights and I'm hammering in new hooks to hang something better than I did last year and then bam! it's dark out and it's time to see how the lights look.
(I never thought I'd be the dad who brought everyone outside for the big first lighting of the season but here we are.)
(Just kidding. Of course I thought I'd be that dad.)
The inside decorating is a little bit slower - first I clean up the area where the tree will go. The stockings came out this week, but not right away. I start the interior decorating by putting the family picture ornaments on the shelf (they don't go on the tree) and then there are a couple of internal lights that I put up. (And a new addition this year which looks great!)
I enjoy sitting with an adult beverage and watching a sporting event or a holiday movie. ("Elf", if I had the choice....except for the last half-hour.)
And it all just fills me with a certain kind of joy that I wish I could carry with me the whole year through but for some reason the rest of the winter kind of saps that joy right out of me.
And this year everything seems to be happening a little bit earlier than usual.
Which is fine by me.
Except you won't be seeing a tree at our house for a couple more weeks. More power to you if you can keep a real tree thriving from now until Christmas. But I know my limitations. I don't need an extra-dead tree in our living room until the town tree pickup happens what I think is one-week-too-late.
I'll settle for dry and bristly and somewhat-dead with the tree I bought in mid-December, not the one I bought in late November.
*I mean, I'm becoming a broken record here but not much is happening. I'm working more steadily than a year ago, which is great, but nothing exciting to tell you about. Sorry.
*The show last Sunday night got canceled. Which, if we're being honest, it was the Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend so I'm not sure how well-populated that show would have been. See below for more information about Tuesday's open mic. Didn't do Thursday's show in Nashua either due to a change of circumstances.
*That paragraph doesn't make it sound like it was a great comedy week...but it was fine. When I wasn't out performing (or doing writing work) this week, I was looking into 2018 bookings. That's been going pretty well. I'll let you know about that as the year comes to a close.
*This week I'll be in Abington Monday and then I'll figure out how to spend Tuesday. The weekends are busy with various Christmas parties and such but next Saturday I'll be in Brighton for a show that starts at 9pm. It's a bar show and people aren't always attentive but I've always had a good time there. The following week is pretty busy. Details are in the 'Comedy Shows' link above.
What I've Been Enjoying
*I've been meaning to tell you how much fun I've been having at The Winner's Circle, a sports bar in Salisbury that hosts an open mic every Tuesday night. There are a few things that set it apart that make it worth the 50-plus minute drive every few weeks for me. First of all, it's a place that supports comedy in a big way - they go all out for the comics - they put the host's name on the marquis out front (I hosted there once, about a year ago. I posted the pic of my name on the board. It's fun.), they record sets, they dedicate the space to the comedy show - those are all big things and it doesn't happen everywhere. There's usually a crowd of people there to see the show, which is also no small thing, so I feel like I get a pretty good read on new material there. And - this is probably what I love most - they keep stats. I love stats and numbers. And I haven't been to The Winner's Circle anywhere near as much as the regulars there - but I'm close to cracking the top 100, which is cool. (According to their records 670 comedians have performed there.) It scratches all my crazy brain itches (well, I guess it would be better if they rated my jokes, but I guess I'll do some of the work), and it's a great place to perform. I would rarely tell you to go watch open mic comedy. But if you're ever in the area, this is one I would tell you is worth supporting.
*Sounds like a lot of people do a lot of crazy stuff this time of year - we don't have an Elf on the Shelf...and if we did he wouldn't be bringing some kind of treat every day. And I like the idea of an Advent calendar to count down the days - we have a little tree where you move a snowflake through the days, and it's an OK one but I'm still looking for a great one - but I hear tell of people who have big treats or other incentives involved in their Advent calendars. I'm not criticizing you if you're doing stuff like that, but it's not for me.
*This probably won't be the last time I mention this but as 2017 draws to a close I don't think I've ever lived a year that has felt like it's gone by faster than this one.
*And here I am approaching the end-of-year post with no questions to answer. Hm. Kind of forgot about that the past couple of weeks. If you have a good Q and A question put it in the comments here or on the Facebook post. Maybe I'll make another push for Qs during the week.
*Here's a taste of how busy things have been, I guess - On Friday I didn't even turn my computer on. Not sure if that means anything to you, but here's what it means: of course I was still on-line because of my phone. But because I am the age that I am (and also because I am stuck in my ways) there are certain things I never do on my phone and only do on the computer. (One example is writing the Sunday Paper.) So generally the computer is something I go to often during the day. But on Friday I just didn't have the time.
*Still had a lot going on Saturday but managed to sneak in some of the college football championship games. You know what that means? Bowl season (and bowl pool!) is just around the corner!!
*One more loose end from baseball season that I kind of forgot to update you about - you may or may not remember before baseball season I assuaged some of my guilt about rooting for flawed people on the Mets by promising a donation at the end of the season based on said players' numbers. I promised a dollar for each Jose Reyes double and run scored and a dollar for each Jeurys Familia save and inning pitched in a donation to a place that helps women somewhere in Queens. Well, Famila was hurt most of the season and Reyes was terrible most of the season, but here's the breakdown:
Reyes: 25 doubles, 75 runs score = $100
Familia: 6 saves, 24.2 innings pitched = $30.67
So we'll call it an even $150 donation. I'll take care of that before the end of the year. (I know, I said I would do it before the end of the World Series. Oops.)
*OK. Back to Christmas season joy. It's really a nice time of year. Someone should write a song about it.