The rules of winter/Christmastime/the holidays/whatever

It’s December. Christmas will be here in a few weeks time. Snow has actually been mentioned on weather forecasts, even in the South. Which brings us to my list of rules that people might want to consider as the holiday/cold weather season hits its stride.

1. Leggings ≠ Pants.
I know. I know. Leggings are awesome. (I personally can’t bring myself to wear them, since I’m still working through my feelings about them, which are confused, since I wore SO many of them in the late ’80s and early ’90s when I was moving from elementary to high school. If stirrup pants come back, the 8th/9th grader in me cannot be held responsible for the fashion crimes she might commit.) Anyway, I digress. Leggings aren’t pants. And while I know leggings are an awesome wardrobe addition in cold weather, please, ladies, wear them UNDER something. Skirt. Dress. Tunic-esque shirt. Just don’t wear your leggings and a T-shirt that ends at your waist and try to pass it off as OK. It’s not. It’s gym-wear. Actually, it’s kind of like wearing tights as pants. It’s just a bad idea. So as winter gets started, let’s just nip this one in the bud, OK?

2. “Keep the Christ in CHRISTmas! (Notice we didn’t write XMas!)”
I get it. I think it’s important to remember what Christmas is really about, too, and I think it’s sad that for most of our culture, the holiday has nothing to do with the birth of the Savior. But the whole “Don’t write Xmas!” thing kind of annoys me. Here’s the deal: X is often used to refer to Christ. The X in Xmas isn’t taking Jesus’ name out of the celebration; it’s using an abbreviation and refers back to the original Greek letter that begins the word Christos. That letter is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. And for centuries and throughout church history, X has been used as a shorthand way to refer to Christ—just as theta is often used as a shorthand reference to God. So let’s just simmer down on the whole “Don’t take the Christ out of Christmas!” thing. Instead, let’s all try to be Christlike to someone this season. And when they ask why you’re not ramming your cart into someone in a mad rush to buy a $3 toaster your sister-in-law just HAS TO HAVE for a Christmas gift, you can keep the Christ in Christmas and share a little hope? Maybe. (Let’s just TRY it. Christmas craziness in shopping malls pushes my buttons like nothing else.)

3. “What?! You don’t like ‘The Christmas Shoes’?! What is wrong with you?”
OK, I HATE the song “The Christmas Shoes.” It’s overly dramatic, plays on emotions, and so melodramatic I wonder if 13-year-old me wrote it. I get that some people love that song and love it. But let’s not judge those of us who’d rather cut off our own ears a la Van Gogh than listen to it. Or watch the movie. Which would make us cry. Which would make us even angrier since we don’t like it in the first place, know that it plays on emotions, and now know that we’ve been taken advantage of.

4. GLITTER!!!!!!!!!
Snow is kind of glittery, so winter (and Christmas in particular) has to be the season for GLITTER clothes, right? I like shiny things and sparkly clothes as much as anyone (maybe more!!!), but I do hold by an important rule: MODERATION! If you’re going to go the sparkly route, ladies (and men, I guess. .. .) make sure you’re not all-over sparkly. Do a sparkly scarf, earrings, or shirt, but balance the rest with darker, non-sparkly clothes. And this is just to get it out of my system: Christmas sweaters?! With scenes? And snowmen? And lights? There’s probably even a few that play music. . .. if your clothes have that much stuff going on, I don’t know if I can talk to you. My short attention span will get distracted. And remember: just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should. . .)

Have a happy winter day, folks!

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