Today we went to our first fall pumpkin festival, now that the holidays are upon us. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love it when the weather changes (yeah yeah I know- not much in LA). I love my pumpkin spice lattes and crunching leaves on the ground as we take our evening walks. I love that all of my favorite holidays are right around the corner. My calendar is filling up with Halloween parties, Thanksgiving plans, Hanukah and finally the dearest to my heart, Christmas. Susan is writing Christmas songs for future projects so the holiday spirit is filling up our house early as usual. I can’t wait to pull our Halloween box out of the shed tomorrow and deck the house up with orange candles and dancing skeletons. Every year at this time there is a playful repartee between Susan and me over getting ready for the festivities. She complains that I gear up for the madness too early, that buying the pumpkins now will mean they will rot by Halloween. This same banter repeats the day Christmas trees go on sale (November 29th!) I can’t help it; I’m a romantic at heart and that means that the holidays are just as important to me as that horrible Jennifer Aniston comedy that I insist on seeing opening night. I’m convinced that Susan has grown to love this side of me and if I were ever to change my ways, she would miss it. I know this because I had these same issues with my parents over anything that they enforced as a tradition in our house growing up. Every Friday night was “card night” and every “card night” came with their favorite AM 50’s radio station. I always complained about having to listen to their old-fogy music, yet I secretly loved it. When my friends came over to partake in the “Black family tradition” I relished in it. Or over Thanksgiving when my mother invited a good 20 people to our house and insisted that shy or not, EVERYONE play charades. I covertly craved it year after year. This idea of holiday spirit and tradition has bled into my family.
Now that we have a toddler, the fun just got funner (I know- funner?). I have an excuse to drag us to parades, fairs and today’s fall pumpkin festival. I know I must cherish these days now because before long my daughter and wife will be mocking me together and I will have no choice but to be the enforcer of all that is wrong with the Hallmark holidays.
So to drag you down with me, here’s a Susan Howard (my wife) holiday tune- it’s never too early.
Song by: Susan Howard