My Christmas conversion

At the end of the year we really (really) need Christmas.

I'm an admitted Christmas bah-hum-bug kind of guy. But a few years ago I had a miraculous conversion. Was it God? Santa? The Easter Bunny, maybe hoping my Christmas conversion would spill over into his turf?

No. It was none of those things. Maybe, it was just this simple - I finally grew up.

Yeah. That's it. After all those years of thinking I was too cool, too mature, too intellectual, I finally faced the truth. I needed Christmas more than Christmas needed me.

After all those years of bah-hum-bug-ism, what did it get me? Christmas didn't stop. No one gave it up (not even me!). So, finally, I grew up and recognized my defeat.

Christmas is God-sent (literally for some). Christmas comes along right when we need it most. Weather-wise for sure. Who wants to face the onslaught of winter without gifts, sweets, twinkling lights, family and the big guy himself? And, hey, what about the little guy? No, not the elves! You know, Jesus. After all, it's his birthday we're celebrating.

I'm a convert for sure. I start my Christmas celebration even before I see the fake Christmas trees, the fake snow and the fake Santas on the day after Halloween. After all, why wait? Why? Let's get the party started! Gifts, drinking in all its forms, even eggnog. What is that stuff anyway? Anybody got a clue?

And, of course, the Christmas songs. Year after year after year, the same darn songs. Uh-oh, my bah-hum-bug is sneaking up again. Sorry. OK. Back it up. Those wonderful Christmas songs that make us wish we were kids again or with old friends or somewhere in Austria with the Von Trapp family - or just about any place else except stuck in mind-boggling traffic, over-crowded stores and facing the dreaded deadline of Dec. 24. And that's a deadline with no reprieve, people.

Oh, darn. There I go again. It's really hard beating that bah-hum-bug-ism out of my system. Bear with me, please.

Yes, Christmas is here to stay. I've accepted that and embrace it. I have swallowed hard and now enjoy the complete insanity of it all. It's a magical time of giving, white-bearded old guys, tiny elves and long-forgotten songs that only rise from the dead once a year – just like zombies.

Bah-hum-bug? Not me. Not anymore. I need Christmas. And I'm mature enough now to admit it.

Pass the eggnog, please.

- Bill Barre of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email him at [email protected].