I am trying to get myself in the mood for Christmas by listening to Christmas music. I like Christmas music, but only when it’s Christmas time. When they start playing Christmas music in October, I want to punch someone in the head. I don’t know why I have such a violent reaction to it. I guess, as I get older, that I’m very aware of the passage of time, and I don’t like people rushing me into Christmas and the end of the year before it’s time. Let me enjoy autumn, people! Of course, one could also argue that life is too short not to listen to Christmas music any time you feel like it. I’ll buy that. But only so long as you listen to your Christmas music in the privacy of your own home or car or earbuds and are not inflicting your out-of-season musical choices on others. Not everyone likes to rock around the Christmas tree on Labor Day weekend.

Personally, I don’t like to rock around the Christmas tree even when it’s Christmas. I also do not like to jingle-bell rock any time of year. Basically, I eschew all Christmas-themed rocking. Unless it’s Christopher Lee’s metal Christmas album, which I feel compelled to respect on principle.

A regular heavy-metal Christmas album, okay. Maybe I’d like it, maybe I wouldn’t. But heavy metal + Christopher Lee? What’s the point of living in the twenty-first century if you don’t take advantage of these modern innovations?

Do you know that Christopher Lee is 92 years old? That’s about eight years older than I thought he was. Amazing.

Anyway, back to my original topic. I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit because Christmas is, in fact, my favorite holiday, except for all the stress. Even when I was growing up, I hated the stress of Christmas because I absorbed my mother’s stress. But I also loved Christmas, so what could I do? As an adult, though, I feel like I can’t enjoy the Christmas season until I am prepared for Christmas. Because that’s what everyone is talking about at Christmastime: have you done all your shopping? are you ready? I hate listening to other people talk about their Christmas shopping–because usually people who talk about their Christmas shopping are the kind who get it done early and like to brag about it. Frankly, I might brag too, if I had it together enough to finish Christmas shopping before December even starts. But hearing about how much farther ahead of me everyone else is just adds to my stress. Not that it’s a competition or anything, but it just reminds me there are only so many shopping days until Christmas, especially if you don’t want to end up wandering aimlessly around the mall on Dec. 23.

One thing that is easing my stress this year is that my mother-in-law will be visiting one of her other sons on Christmas. Not that I don’t enjoy my mother-in-law’s company, but the Christmas shopping deadline is more flexible because we won’t give her any gifts until she gets back. So at least I don’t have to worry about that.

The worrisome gift recipients this year are Mister Bubby and Elvis. They both really like football, but you can only give someone so many footballs. You can only give them so many Ducks jerseys. You can only give them so many DVDs of the 2012 Rose Bowl. You kind of want to encourage their other interests, if they have any. Elvis really doesn’t. Mister Bubby is very into trombone and jazz (especially as it relates to the trombone), but you can only give your son so many trombones. When he wants to listen to music, he turns on YouTube while he plays Elder Scrolls, or whatever. He likes clever t-shirts, so while I was surfing the web looking for clever t-shirts related to his geek interests, I looked for trombone-themed shirts. Let me tell you, the trombone-themed t-shirt market is about what you’d expect. There’s not much clever that doesn’t involve puns on boning and doing it in seven positions. I may be the woman who stood idly by while her husband bought their eleven-year-old son a “Get Porked at Billy’s” shirt at the barbecue place, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Anyway, last Christmas was dubbed “Year of the Clothes” by MB, so we’re trying not to repeat that error.

On the plus side, the Christmas tree is up and decorated. It looks pretty, which is good since it will be there until February.

In non-Christmas news, I made a hair appointment for Monday at 11:30. I have clogging until 10:30, and the dance studio is on the way to the hair salon, which would be convenient except that I’d really rather have a shower before going to the salon, so I will have to rush home, take a shower, and rush to the hair appointment. I probably should have made an appointment for another day, but I just accepted the first date she offered me because I guess I didn’t want to seem hard to please. In retrospect I have no idea why I didn’t ask for a different date. It took all of my psychological strength to overcome my fear of making telephone calls to make the telephone call, so once I was in the telephone call, I had nothing left for negotiations.

I’m going to quit writing now because I’ve been on this computer forever, trying to do all my Christmas shopping online because the thought of going to an actual store fills me with dread.