Suddenly it is okay to be cliché

The holidays are the peak of cheesyness. Once Christmas comes around, things you normally do not want to be near to suddenly seem charming and cosy. This light veneer covers the few weeks around Christmas and the few days afterwards feel weirdly bleak. New Year’s does not have the same cosyness and atmosphere attached to it. Rather, we are all reminded of goals that are more or less realistic we will hold ourselves to. 1 January holds a strange place in our hearts, a date to start something new but at the same time nothing really changes.

So let us think back once more to those magical days filled with things we only accept around Christmas. An incomplete list:

  1. Stars on trees. Or generally ornaments in trees. Tacky Christmas balls, shiny tinsel, fake snow, anything that is bad for the environment.
  2. Christmas stables. Real ones, wooden ones, silhouettes, dolls, even with actual people and animals (though no real baby please).
  3. Sleighs, especially the big ones with one or two horses in front. The fact that I have never ridden one probably does not help.
  4. Sleighbells. To be honest, after hearing Christmas music for multiple weeks my tolerance is almost at its end, but it remains thoroughly charming for much longer than it should.
  5. Church. I get this weird nostalgia for attending mass, in a beautiful church with this friendly priest and all these kind and warm people. Not that I have not been disappointed enough times in real life.
  6. A big piece of meat as the centerpiece. In this time of promoted sustainability and less dependence on meat, somehow we have not evolved enough yet to get a Christmassy feeling without a bizarre amount of meat on the table.
  7. Traditional Christmas clothes. Whether it is a hat, an (ugly) sweater or the Santa Claus outfit. It all seems perfectly reasonable to wear these few days a year.
  8. Eating crazy amounts of (unhealthy) food. Normally I get side-eyed by most people around me when they see how much I (want to) consume, but not around the holidays. We all get to share in the fun.
  9. Asking for gifts in huge quantities. Christmas is a maximalist dream. Catalogues are being scrutinized to ensure no potential gift is left off any list.
  10. Lights. There is an inordinate amount of light everywhere around Christmas. Inside the house, outside the house, in the street, in the store. It will be quite impossible to find any darkness for a few weeks.

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