This year for almost two months leading up to Christmas, I’d vowed to wear this jingly Christmas bell.  Ching, ching, ching says this thing, all day long. Sounded like Christmas I thought, and you can’t get too much Christmas.

That was my feeling going into this Christmas Season. This long Christmas Season. Long because I’d vowed to make it long. On vacation over Halloween, I was lamenting to my daughter how last year’s Holiday season just blew by with little fanfare. I didn’t really notice Christmas. And I want to notice Christmas. I want to feel it in its fullest splendor. It can be a wonderful time if you embrace it, and don’t neglect it.

Thusly, my daughter and I agreed that as soon as we got home from vacation I was going to put on my sleigh bell and we were going to go full throttle with Christmas. We were going to see it all, do it all, feel all the joy, sing the songs, light the candles, trim every tree, suck the nog out of every egg that crossed our path. We were going to feel the magic, day and night , non stop, Fa La La La La. La la la la. No joke. We pinky swore that this is what we were going to do.

So we came home from Florida, I donned my bell and Christmas was ON. And I was ching ching chingin’ my way around. Christmas Cookies, Christmas Parties, Singing Carols, Secret Santas, Wreath-making, cider drinking.  We went and got a lovely Christmas tree from the volunteer fire station to help support them, so they’d have the equipment to put out the fires these trees were inevitably going to cause.  We took that 12 Days of Christmas/Partridge in a Pear Tree song and fleshed it out a little to suit our extended Christmas season, “The Fifty-Three Days of Christmas.” And I have to say, when you have that many Days you really have to get creative with some of the items gifted by the song’s extremely generous True Love over the course of Christmas. Like  “47 Union Long Shoremen Striking”, “38 Mimes Drinking Overpriced Cups of Coffee.” “25 Pairs of Socks Where One Sock’s fine but the other’s elastic is too stretched out.” … Yadda yadda… 4 calling birds, 3 French Hens, 2 turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a pear tree. In fact the song got so awkward that no one really sang it anymore. So we went shopping. We put money in the kettle of the bell-ringing Salvation Army Man. If it was Christmassy, we were there. With bell on. Ching ching ching ching.

If I’ve been anywhere near you this holiday season, you knew it. Because I’ve honored my promise and worn this bell every day. I have marched through my routine – ching ching ching ching. Every step. Every move. Ching. Ching. Ching. And I found, and this was totally new to me, that when you hear a sound like that, chinging and chinging non stop over a sizable period of time, it can really start to make you profoundly nauseous. And I’ll admit, at this point I’m truly ready to hurl. However, my vast integrity prevents me, even in the face of physical illness, from taking it off. I pinky swore with my beloved only daughter that I was going wear this bell. So I’m wearing this bell. And I’ll keep wearing this bell until Christmas on Saturday. Until then, I’ll be wishing you all the Merriest of Christmases, the Happiest of holidays .And staying very very still.

Eric Ruhalter is the author of the humorous gift book series for parents: “The KidDictionary: Words Parents Need To Describe Their Kids.” Watch the funny videos at the website for an hysterical look inside.