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Although it's been said many times, many ways...

Many bloggers have recently expressed a wish for this holiday season to be over already, what with the traffic, the weather, the in-laws, the cards to send, the social functions to attend, and the shopping, my god, the shopping. I couldn't agree more. Have I wrapped the pile of presents for the kids yet? No, I thought I deserved one more week of stalling and stammering a fake answer every time Bryce walks downstairs, looks at the tree and says, "Mom, when are my presents going to be under the tree?" Have I sent out Christmas cards? No, it seems I prefer the guilt of receiving other people's cards and realizing I was too lazy to actually take the five minutes to choose a picture of the kids and address some envelopes.

This week would have been the week that I might be pulled out of my anti-holiday slump, though. There was my stepdad's annual holiday birthday party Tuesday night, a work Christmas gift exchange dinner Wednesday night, a trip to see A Christmas Carol performed live at a local performing arts center Thursday night. Parties, music, food, oh my! If anything could infuse one with the proper amount of holiday cheer, it would be my fun-filled week of Christmas events. But for whatever reason, I'm just not feeling it. Is it my decision plate problem? Is it that I've gotten too old to enjoy it all? Is it that the stress of the past five years of my life has obliterated my ability to appreciate the moment rather than worry about details out of my control? I don't know.

But I do know this. Right in the middle of a stress headache over unwrapped presents, uncooked meals, unplanned family get-togethers, I heard Alvin and the Chipmunks "Christmas Song" being played over the office phone intercom system. I was immediately transported back 20 years to Christmases in my grandmother's house when my brother, my cousins, and I wore out her Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas 8-track tape and performed live renditions of our Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music video for all of the gathered, willing adults. My grandmother, Nana (pronounced NON-uh) gave us the impression that she rather enjoyed our chipmunk performances, so we obliged her every year until we were just too old and too cool for it. She died two years ago, during the Christmas season actually, and I've wondered where that crazy 8-track tape ended up. I know if she were still around and healthy enough to be with us at Christmas, I would probably be passing on the chipmunk tradition to Bryce and Quinn, who I know would gladly take it and make it their own.

So thank you, crazy IT guy who played the chipmunk song over the intercom this morning. How strange and unexpected that something so brief and mundane, and at work, no less, is what would finally plunge me into the Christmas spirit. I wish I could call Nana and tell her about it, but since I can't, I'll have to be content with playing this song for my kids while I sneak into my closet to wrap their presents.

I hope you find your chipmunk song memory. Merry Christmas!

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