It’s November. The temperature has dropped, and it has even snowed (or flurried) in some areas. Not feeling particularly pilgrim-y and being ready to break out the eggnog are symptoms of Christmas fever. If you or any of your loved ones have experienced this, know that you are not alone.
According to a very unofficial poll I just ran in my head, 80 percent of people are ready to break into the holiday scene. Yet, how come most of their homes still smell like pumpkin? The short answer is: the other 20 percent, otherwise known as the haters. The defenders of turkey, the party poopers, and the undercooked Grinches come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, they could be your roommate, a family member, your spouse, or even your pet who’s allergic to pine cones.
And while I’d love to tell you to “forget the haters,” I understand the situation could be more complex than that. If someone you live with perceives the holiday season like you perceive a pile of dirty clothes chilling on your living room couch, maybe you do have to compromise. But that doesn’t mean you have to relinquish all your rights to a jolly good season.
The solution is in the subtleties.
Start with winter scented candles. The first thing your home needs is to rid itself of any signs of autumn and its festivities. An immediate way to achieve this is to turn every whiff into an inhalation of holiday joy. Now, you can’t start off with “gingerbread” and expect people not to notice you’ve skipped right over November. So ease into it as you would a freezing pool. Start with “pine cone” and “winter breeze” scents. Once the smell starts to catch on coats, scarves, and the deepest crevices of everyone’s nostrils, they will start believing it actually smells like snow outside.
Switch up the color scheme. Just because you fooled people into thinking it smells like snow doesn’t mean they are seeing it. This means you can’t just install your Christmas tree or put up a menorah and expect people to believe “you’re just doing it now that you have a breather before work gets crazy around the holidays.” Instead, swap out some orange pillows for green ones and sprinkle some red accents here and there. Change only one or two things every few days to prevent the people you live with from looking up from their phones when entering the house.
Suggestive decoration. If a week or so have gone by and nobody has noticed your minor changes, it’s time to start placing a few holiday-themed artifacts. Steer clear of anything that’s too in the nose, like a Rudolph the red nosed reindeer replica, and in their place select more nature-themed ornaments like snowflakes, pine cones, little pine trees, maybe some cinnamon sticks. By the tail end of this, start incorporating snowmen and candy canes.
Prepare for attack. The tree is going to have to come up at some point, and they won’t like it any better just because you took preemptive easing-in measures. What will help, however, is having a plan of attack. Prepare some peppermint chocolate bark, bake gingerbread cookies, break open that eggnog. Be ready to remind the holiday haters of all the perks that come with the “annoying” season.
Set up all of the lights. You can set up the lights without turning them on. This will buy you time to put up as many as you’d like. Cover up all the trees in your yard, all around the roof, around doorknobs, door frames, beds, showers (just kidding, that isn’t safe). But just hold off on turning them on. You should test them when no one’s home, just to make sure they’ll work for your big reveal.
Show time. Pick a day when nobody will be around for five to six hours. Take out the Christmas tree, the decorations, anything you’ve got the screams “IT IS NOW TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS,” and put it up. Get your baked goods ready to go, light the candles, turn on the lights, and sit on your couch patiently awaiting the arrival of the haters. Sip your eggnog like it’s nobody’s business, and brace yourself.