Monday, April 5, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have this annoying habit of singing Christmas tunes to myself even in the middle of July.

That's not me, but I feel just as crazy.
People at my office are subjected to it more than most, and I sincerely apologize if it's annoying to think of snow in the dead of summer. I also now must apologize for subjecting you, dear readers, to their same fate.

But it's undeniable: this is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is lovely, but nothing beats Opening Day. Fans around the country can sit down and know that regardless of how awful their team is, they will at the very least get 162 opportunities to watch them in action. And even fans of the Royals and the Nationals can look at that clean slate and dream of 162-0 (emphasis on the dream).

Do you remember opening day last year? I'm not sure what it was like in Minnesota, I just remember it out here in New York. It was pretty rainy. Rainy and grey and there was a little chill in the air that forced me to wear a light jacket and keep my head down on my way to work from the subway. It was the kind of day where I get in, shake off a slight layer of dampness like I'm just another wet dog, and then hang my coat on the rack by the elevator to dry off.

But despite the grey, despite the rain, despite the chill, it was easily the best day of the year. It's tough to focus on bleak circumstances (not to mention work) when something that you wait for all year finally arrives. I've grown a little old for that childhood excitement I found in Christmas -- the kind that kept me cataloging a list of gifts I was going to ask for and then waiting up all night the eve before because I just couldn't get to sleep.

That doesn't really hit me anymore, I don't sit around all year and wait for Christmas because of all the fun presents and festivities.

No -- I sit around all year and wait for baseball. Opening Day is adult Christmas, the closest thing you can come to replicating that feeling of giddiness and irrepressible excitement from your childhood.

And just like you knew your parents didn't understand your thrill about that day, we look around at all the people out there who don't follow baseball and see them roll their eyes or exchange knowing smiles when they see us with our hats and jerseys and broad stupid grins on our face even despite the sometimes dreary weather we get on this day.

For us, birds are singing, bitter New Yorkers on a gloomy commute are just more people to smile at and spread the joy to, and beyond all that, more than anything, we can dream of a summer of possibilities on the horizon. 6 more months of that Christmas feeling. Of waking up in the morning and knowing that regardless of how the rest of your day is going, you get to watch baseball.

It's the best feeling in the world.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.


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