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Justifying our Joy

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

It’s November 10 and I’m all decorated for Christmas. This is not unusual. I’m obsessed with Christmas. I was tagged in a meme flying around about having OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder). Guilty. Once I even put up my tree on Halloween, so that I could decorate it on November 1st. (That was a mat leave year and being home all day made me impatient.)

One thing I have noticed this year is that rather than seeing a lot of anger and bashing flying around social media toward those who decorate early (because it’s apparently disrespectful to veterans to have my Christmas tree up, but that’s a whole other rant. I mean, why can I have all of my old Halloween decorations kicking around the house on Nov. 11, but not Christmas ones? I will and have always recognized Remembrance Day and the veterans (my nearly 100 year old grandfather being one of them) and what they have done for our country. With, or without a Christmas tree up, I will partake in Remembrance Day assemblies, teach my students of the importance of this occasion, and wear my poppy with pride.) Anyway, that was supposed to be a rant for another day.

Back to social media. I notice people posting their early decorated trees and saying,

“I think this year we could use a little joy, so why not?”

I whole-heartedly agree. I’ve been clicking like on all of those posts. But then it dawned on me that everyone is okay with decorating early for Christmas this year because it brings us joy, and in the midst of a pandemic we need more joy.

So are we not supposed to do this thing that brings us joy every other year? Why do I need to be in the middle of a pandemic to have you say, “It’s okay that you decorated early this year, because you could use some joy.” I need joy every year!! I need joy every day!

Why do we need to justify doing things that bring us joy?

The Christmas season has always brought me so much joy. I understand not everyone has these feelings, but I consider myself lucky to have amazing memories around this time, and I look forward to this season each year. For me, having my Christmas carols on and my house decorated bring me peace and anticipation for amazing family times, traditions, and making more memories for my kids.

I know that Christmas is still six weeks away, but if I can spend six weeks instead of two experiencing these nostalgic and happy feelings, then I’ll take it! No matter what’s going on at work, or what stressors I might be facing, the Christmas season and everything it has to offer, brings me joy. So I choose to experience that in my home.

I choose joy, not because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but because it’s Thursday. And I choose things that make me joyful everyday. And we shouldn’t have to apologize for that.

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