I’m not what you would call a “festive” girl. Celebration isn’t really my strong suit; I’m better at “mourning with those who mourn” and all that. Show me heartache and a cozy melancholy, and I’ll show you a girl in her glory.

Of course, if you know me in real life, you know that this is all a little tongue in cheek. I’m not perpetually crestfallen or colorless; on the contrary, in social situations, I can be downright chipper.

But then again… it’s a tiny bit true. I feel an affinity with the sufferers, a kinship with the woebegone. I have a hard time making merry. It takes alcohol to make me dance. Convivial hullabaloo just isn’t really in my nature, and never is this more apparent than when it comes to holidays.

I have long held to the vow to never get a Christmas tree. I’ve actually said it: “I will never get a Christmas tree” (and… there fell an angel). I own zero Christmas decorations – nor Easter or Thanksgiving or 4th of July and especially not Valentine’s Day. No cornucopias on my dining room table, thank you very much. No wreath on my door, no green plastic grass in a basket, no Nativity set, no jack-o-lantern themed anything. Please don’t come caroling at my house. Please don’t make me dress up for Halloween. Listen to “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”? YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.

But deep down, I know that this isn’t my true disposition. As much as this stoic girl hates to admit it, I was meant to be a celebrator. Scratch the surface, and you’ll see that my iron will is desperate to break. And I think it’s starting to happen.

The other night, I was at the grocery store and saw a bin of pumpkins. Before realizing it, I was inspecting them one by one and thinking how nice and autumnal it would feel to buy one. And then I did. I chose a pumpkin, paid for it, and brought it home where it’s now gracing the center of my table – a DECORATION to commemorate the SEASON. If that doesn’t scream “gaiety” I don’t know what does.

I am grateful for the people in my life who force me to celebrate. I recently told Mel that if I ever get married, I’m going to elope – and without skipping a beat, she said, “Great, I’ll come,” a lighthearted refusal to sanction my rejection of a party. I have friends who commemorate occasions with gusto and mirth, declining my own decline, enveloping me into the fun.

And little by little, my hard shell is starting to crack into a jack-o-lantern grin.




  1. Greta on October 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    “Convivial hullabaloo”– this is one reason I like you so much.

    We’re doing a pumpkin fundraiser to raise money for the Junior Class, and I have to go get SIXTY PUMPKINS this weekend. That’s a little too much hullabaloo for me.

  2. Lan | morestomach on October 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    i think it’s a testament to the kind of person you are, annie, in that the people in your life refuse to allow you to not celebrate and acknowledge things going on.

    i always said i’d elope, i have performance anxiety and i compromised with a 35 guest list and no formal/traditional ceremony. this is not because i’m not into celebrating, it’s because i’m an introvert and crowds freak me out. moral of that story: i still kinda wish we had eloped.

  3. Joey on October 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    This is good news.

  4. Sandy on October 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Take it from one “slightly” ahead on the path- the sooner you crack, the better. Lovely piece!

  5. Michael on October 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    I, too, loved “Convivial hullabaloo”-don’t hold back on our account, Annie :-) You are a spirit sister of mine, but as I am a bit further down the path, I take a child-like mirth in celebrating the seasons. Let the revels begin!

  6. Christina on October 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Yeah, I’m totally crashing your elopement too. I WILL FIND YOU!

    Also, love the word “wobegone”, a definite fave.

  7. Laura on October 18, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Children throw themselves wholeheartedly into celebrating and mourning. I think they are the wise ones here.

  8. Alissa on October 18, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    I too sometimes struggle to get on board with the festive becuase I.just.can’t. And yet, I have children and Laura is absolutely right. They are going to celebrate and mourn with abandon, so I get on that bandwagon and find it’s not a bad place to be at times.

  9. Peg Achterman on October 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Hmmmm – I think we should have guerrilla ornament giving to Annie. Bwaahaaha

  10. Allison on October 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    “Convivial hullabaloo just isn’t really in my nature” – oh my goodness. i love…words. those words. that’s a delightful statement.

    also, i am not a fan of Christmas decorations. i think because the way my mom uses them, it is like christmas threw up all over her house. she gets 200 christmas cards every year, and hangs them all up on the walls. all of them. she has a knitted red and green tissue box cover. why? WHY? the tree is fiberoptic, so it changes colors all the time. it’s an assault. a christmas assault.

  11. BECCA on October 18, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    next, you can learn to play GAMES

  12. Janelle from Canada on October 18, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Games… (shudders)

  13. Paul Parsons on October 19, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    A pumpkin. Sounds just about right for a step into gaiety. I personally am smiling from ear to ear, so you’ve given me some gaiety!

  14. Erin on October 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    I don’t see those qualities you were talking about as a bad thing (no decorations, wanting to elope, etc.)

    I think a person can still celebrate without all the extras. It’s just a more simple, stripped down version. You know, like an acoustic album as opposed to a heavily produced one. Some people like the bells and whistles, some don’t.

    But by all means, if you really want to celebrate in those ways and haven’t, let it out :) And congratulations on your first pumpkin!

  15. Jules on November 4, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    This is one of your best. :) I love you tons.

  16. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Evergreen on November 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    […] you know, I bought a pumpkin. And it’s still sitting in the middle of my dining room table, reminding me that this life is […]

  17. […] no secret that I have a hard time with festive merriment; remember, “convivial hullabaloo just isn’t really in my nature.” And while I actually love Christmas lights, I would never, EVER take the initiative to put them […]

Leave a Comment