Lots of folks like to get mad at you if you start listening to Christmas music too early. In fact, in the edge case in which you wake up from a particularly strong late-afternoon nap and would like to ascertain how many days it is that you’ve been asleep, your best option may be to post online that you’re listening to Christmas music.
“Good grief, Max, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!!”
Ah, glad to hear it, that means I didn’t sleep through the turkey and cranberry dressing.
It boggles my mind that Thanksgiving is less than a week away. The football season has flown by, and it seems to have dragged the real-world calendar right along with it. A cold front blew through Chapel Hill last weekend, and it’s made the late-night last-chance bathroom trips outside with the dog more of a discussion. Could she make it through the night? Probably. Should she? Damn it, fine, I’ll get my jacket.
Whether you’ve started listening to Christmas music yet or not, we can all agree that there’s no place like home for the holidays. Whether that’s the house you grew up in, your parents’ or other family member’s retirement plan in warmer climes, or somewhere exotic with your chosen family, it’s good to make plans to see each other as we watch the last few pages fall off our 2022 calendars.
Perry Como sang about it in 1954, and it rings true 68 years later. Home for the Holidays is commonly thought of as a Christmas song, enjoying heavy rotation on the Sounds of the Season channel on my grandmother’s DirecTV in between Michael Bublé and one or two of Sinatra’s famous Yuletide entries, but here’s the thing—it’s not a Christmas song. At no point is there any mention of Santa, snow, or even the baby Jesus (nor where he was born). In fact, the weather mentioned is sunshine, and the most identifiable holiday iconography are homemade pumpkin pie and traffic; you’ll find nary a noel, numbered or otherwise.
Here, nestled nicely in the newly-cold lull of the intervening weeks between Halloween and Christmas, sits the remainder of this Tar Heel football season. A trip to Winston Salem in the rearview, the Carolina football team can settle into Perry Como’s wisdom; until the ACC championship game in Charlotte on the 3rd of December, the Heels get to stay at home. This evening’s guests, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, are braving that terrific northbound traffic from Atlanta, and next Friday the team from Raleigh comes to Chapel Hill, doubtless on the lookout for any home cookin’.
A home stand is a lovely way to end a season; even if the weather has turned cold, it bodes well that this special regular season will come to an end in view of the bell tower. As anyone who has spent time here in Chapel Hill can attest, it really is good to be home.
There’s just no place like it.