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The Christmas season is now upon us with full gale force.  It is only December 4, and every hardware store I’ve been in this weekend (who have had stuff out for sale since about LaborDay) is now actually OUT of something as ubiquitous as those little four-dollar light strings with 100 bulbs in them.  This is not a crisis, just a measure of how urgently people tend to feel obliged to Get Out There and Demand Their Stuff.

Because I’m one of those people who have to FOCUS to enjoy the holidays, and because I’d rather eat ground glass than go into a (loud) (crowded) shopping-mall intentionally during December, the end of the year is not my best five weeks, typically.  There has been a fortuitous balancing-of-stress for me this year, however.  After several months of being too busy with work, I’ve had a breather these last few weeks, and have actually been able to see more of my family in Cincinnati, see more of my friends at church and hereabouts, AND even get out of town for a wedding.  I’ve also caught myself repeating a phrase lately, during every one of those events – times where I’m almost invariably up-to-my-shoulders in Lots Of People – and the phrase I keep hearing myself say quietly is “BigHappyFunNoise”.

BigHappyFunNoise is what happens at Thanksgiving when you have a houseful of brothers and sisters who enjoy giving each other static, high-energy nephlets in a too-small house for this many people, and two last minute guests that make the dinner table go from “cozy” to “really cozy” – and it works out just fine because there’s still plenty to eat and now there are five simultaneous conversations going at the table instead of just four.

BigHappyFunNoise is taking ten minutes to get to your regular seat in church because of the number of friends and their kids who stop you to talk and shake hands and hug and tell you you’ve been away too long and When Did You Grow That Beard and Mustache It Looks Good! – and of course getting to repeat the process on the way out.

BigHappyFunNoise is the wedding reception where you keep getting pulled onto the loud dance floor, and LIKING it … then doing your own pulling onto the loud dance floor … then getting pulled into the Hauling of the Leftover Stuff From the Reception to The Bride’s Home, for more hours of hanging-out and exuberant chatter.

Summary thought, if you haven’t figured it out yourself yet:
It’s not “noise” by itself that’s good or bad.
It’s the quality that gets it for you.

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