The Slant: Trying to Time the Yuletide



By: Roderick Reed
By: Roderick Reed

I get struck by Christmas spirit in July or August. That is about the time of year the year I stumble on a movie like ”Home Alone” or “Christmas Vacation” on TV. Someone is having a Christmas in July sale, which usually brings Christmas spirit to peak at the wrong time of the year.

Over the years I have tried to refine my timing of Christmas spirit to be in October so that by December I will be ready. I have tried things like turning on the heater, watching Christmas movies or sprinkling some Christmas music selections into the home audio system. If you live in Laguna you know at least one of these ideas is misguided. October for instance is usually the warmest month of year! I don’t recommend the two other ideas either as it could make family and friends think you are nuts. Imagine being invited to my house in August or October and being welcomed into an environment of lit fireplaces, Christmas cookies and carols. All topped with a seemingly oblivious host. You could gather that I am insane, but I am really just trying to “time” my Christmas spirit. The problem with Christmas spirit is that appropriate timing is a very important part of it. People don’t respond well if you timing is off. From my years of experience in trying to get Christmas spirit at the right time, I have compiled a list of my top worst ways to get Christmas spirit early.

  1. On a light switch stick a notice saying. Please will “Yule” turn off the lights when finished?
  2. Wear a hat with mistletoe dangling from the rim. Walk around town with it.
  3. Smile, to anything and to everyone.
  4. Learn the words to “A Christmas Song.” Print the lyrics and sing the verses to yourself at work or at the store. Buddy from the movie “Elf” advised, “the best way to get Christmas cheer is sing aloud for all to hear.”
  5. Make a countdown list that everyone can see. The closer the date gets the more festive you will feel. Note that on July 1 there are only 177 days till Christmas.
  6. Give your family and friends your Christmas list in August.
  7. Put up the Christmas lights including a giant Frosty the Snowman on your roof.
  8. Tell the kids Christmas stories at bedtime.
  9. Get out the Christmas decorations, go ice-skating, eat a whole roll of holiday cookie dough as fast as you can than find your wife and snuggle.
  10. Wear Christmas underwear. Only you will know you have them.

Also making it difficult to get Christmas spirit is where we live. Laguna is a beach town. As charming as it is, Laguna is not the backdrop most people think of when they contemplate Christmas. All my life finding Christmas spirit at the right time has skirted me, until last year. I have finally found the catalyst I have been searching for.

Visit Sawdust Winter Fantasy in the canyon! Under a lit canopy of trees and Christmas music you walkthrough aisles of art that are not there during the summer show. Drink in hand, lightly falling snow dusts your flip flops as you hear school children sing. You are enveloped. You have caught Christmas spirit Laguna style. The 23rd Annual Winter Fantasy at the Sawdust Art Festival features over 170 artists (30 new this year) who exhibit and sell their original art and unique, hand-crafted items in an enchanting outdoor setting in Laguna Canyon. Special holiday highlights include the annual Community Night and Tree Lighting Ceremony, Petting Zoo, Children’s Holiday Playhouse, thousands of lights and holiday decorations, and Santa! Additionally, the Winter Fantasy has four outdoor cafés and Sawdust Saloon.

Sawdust starts Nov. 23. Come visit me in booth 301. With this guidance you can time your Christmas spirit perfectly. Avoid being a cotton headed ninny-muggins this year. Grab your family and go.

At last, problem solved. Now, I just need to figure out where we are going for summer vacation.


Roderick Reed owns Laguna Beach’s REEDesign Interiors. He lives in town with his wife Kathy and two sons Mason and Jack.


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