It must be a subconscious reflex this time of year, but the other day I found myself beginning a sentence by saying, “‘Tis the season …” As I was saying that, it hit me that ‘Tis the season to say, “‘Tis the season.”
I mean, I never found myself in July saying, “‘Tis the season for fireworks”. Or in February saying, “‘Tis the season for groundhogs to see their shadows.”
I’m not sure, but I think “‘Tis” is just a fancy way of saying “It’s”, right? You might want to try throwing in a ‘Tis every once in a while to impress someone. Add “season” in there, too, instead of saying “time.” Something like …
‘Tis the season to eat some curly fries. Or ‘Tis the season for a colonoscopy (which by the way, would make the world’s worst Christmas carol).
It got me thinking of how there are a number of things we say around Christmas that we rarely, if ever, say other times of the year …
Holly Jolly – as in, “have a holly jolly Christmas”. Every once in a while, you may hear a fat, happy guy described as ‘jolly” outside of Christmas, but not too often – unless you are talking about Santa. It’s like they came up with a nice way of telling Santa he’s chubby. So I’m not really sure what “holly jolly” could mean, but I know it’s positive otherwise we wouldn’t wish someone to have a “holly jolly” Christmas. After a football game, I’d love to hear a burly linebacker (a jolly linebacker, if you will) say, “That was holly jolly sack of the quarterback!”
Merry – Other than the phrase, “eat, drink and be merry”, we only say “merry” at Christmas time. We don’t say “Merry Birthday” or “Merry New Year” or even “Merry Holidays”. Everything else is “happy” – only Christmas is merry, apparently.
Hustle and Bustle – Other times of the year we are busy or life is hectic. At Christmas time there is “hustle and bustle”. I mean, it does make things sound so much more charming and festive to say, “hustle and bustle”, right? Try this sentence for instance …
Remember to help the poor during the “hustle and bustle” of the holiday!
Remember – to help the poor during the insane free-for-all of maniacs fighting over parking spaces at the mall and leg wrestling a lady at Toys ‘R Us over a Barbie.
Hustle and bustle, right? Not only does it economize words, but it also romanticizes your psychotic tendencies this time of year. That’s a win-win.
So why does Christmas almost have its own language? I blame Christmas carols – which is really a topic for another day.
In the meantime, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season have yourself a merry, little, holly jolly Christmas … ’tis the season, ya know.