Monday, December 22, 2008

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, the year 2008

When Christmas rolls around, one way I celebrate is by wearing Christmas sweaters. Reindeers and Santa and Christmas trees, oh my! Yeah, I'm that girl.

This all started when I was in college and getting dressed was so much easier. Back in the day, you woke up whenever, then took a shower, or didn't, and put on whatever was handy. Since half the kids on campus lived in dorms with teeny tiny closets, no one questioned if you wore the same college sweatshirt more than one day a week. I don't know what came over me in college, but I decided I would wear red and green every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had a collection of sweats, because that's what good co-eds wore in the 80s, and I would toss on a red t-shirt with green sweats, or a green sweatshirt with red sweats. The point was that I wore a different combination of red and green every day.

And so it began.

Over the years, I have collected quite a grouping of sweater vests, embroidered sweatshirts, and dressy Christmas sweaters. I've also made cheesy sweatshirts with Christmas motifs with my mom, sister in law, sister, or BFF. Most of them are not stylish, and several of them are downright silly, like the one with the entire alphabet in shiny green and red letters. Well, most of the alphabet. There's no L on the shirt.

Get it? No-el?

The ones I made may be ugly or silly, but I love them because they are sentimental. They may not be artwork, but they are indelibly linked in my mind to the good times I spent making them. And for that, I love them.

My collection is large enough that I have enough Christmas garb to wear a different outfit to work every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, without repeating. I took me a lot of time and a lot of money to collect that many pieces. And it takes a lot to maintain them. They are in a great big storage bag that takes up entirely too much space in my closet, but I keep them anyway because they make me happy. In the grand scheme of things, it seems like a silly waste to have a shirt or vest you only wear once a year, but it's my damn closet, so who cares?

Anyway, the hoo hahs at our office have decided that they want us in business casual clothes all the time. That means no jeans (even on Fridays!), and no sweatshirts. For the first time in years, I've actually repeated outfits this holiday season. Funny thing is that no one here seemed to notice.

It makes me a little sad to think of those well loved items sitting untouched in their storage bag, just wondering when they'll get out for a day. Oh well, maybe next year things will be more relaxed around here.

I didn't realize until this year how much psychic energy the whole Christmas outfit thing requires. Unload them all, choose a shirt, wear it once, launder or dry clean it, and put it back to sit for a whole year. No more, my friends, no more. It has been so much simpler to bring a few pieces into the rotation and deal with just that group. I have even ventured out and worn just a red sweater or a beautiful new red jacket a time or two - no jingle bells or Santas in sight, I fear.

Truly, Christmas is not about what you're wearing on the outside, it's about how you feel on the inside. I guess I have the hoo hahs to thank for that perspective.

I only have a few more days of Christmas outfits, and then it will be back to my regular winter clothing. It is always a little bittersweet to put away the Christmas garb, because like taking down the tree and putting away the Christmas ornaments, this act as much as any signals the end of the holiday season for me. On the upside, we'll get to start the whole thing over in just 11 more months!


Big Al said...

NOooooooo! I can't belive you are giving in to the evil people! There are ALWAYS 3 things that are certain in my life.....1) death, 2) taxes, and 3) Steph wearing different red and green outfits from T-giving to Christmas.

Chad and Mary Kate Martin said...

What do you mean no one notices??!!! I ALWAYS noticed your Christmas attire!

It would have been rude to point out that you had already worn something earlier in the month. ;-)

I adore your Christmas spirit!!