Today’s date sticks in my mind for two reasons. #1: It’s the anniversary of Haus Meister’s and my first date. #2: It’s also the earliest date I’ve decorated for Christmas.
It was November 18, 2002, and my senior year of college. Our theses were due in less than two weeks and my roommate and I were feeling the stress. Also, it was raining cats and dogs outside, and someone in our house-dorm had come down with mono. I should add that there were two or three other girls in our house of seven who had theses due, so the communal stress was running high.
I don’t recall exactly what seeming catastrophe caused us to decide that a gander at our Christmas decorations would make us feel better, but M. and I decided to head to the basement where we all stored our extra things. We weren’t going to decorate; just look at our decorations.
Well, when we got halfway down the stairs, we saw that there was water coming in from under the basement door, and while it wasn’t a rising flood, it was puddling under our boxes! So she and I spent the next twenty minutes or so moving all the boxes to a dry corner of the basement. Somehow, that was the last straw. We returned to our dry quarters with our Christmas boxes in tow.
We put a cd of Christmas Carols on the stereo. We took down the autumn garlands and hung the twinkle lights. She decorated the door. Little knick knacks found room on our shelves. And we began to feel better.
Our dormmates began to return for the night and stared incredulously at our Christmasey room. We explained our litany of woes and insisted that this helped us de-stress, although if it offended people we’d keep the carols at a low volume.
The next day another senior hung her decorations. Within a week we could tell if someone had a bad day by the Christmas music coming out of their room.
Although I would never decorate before Advent now, I do still feel calmed by Christmas music. My ringtone on my phone is an instrumental O Come O Come Emmanuel. I’m not stressed digging through my purse to answer the phone while that’s playing. I actually enjoy hearing Christmas music in stores (well, some of it), and find myself taking things a bit slower.
However, it really only works this time of year. I do try to keep my therapeutic Christmas music listening limited to oh…mid-October through January. 😉 After that, it’s chocolate therapy all the way.