not so fast

It's November 19. Last Sunday, the 12th, was the first time this year that I heard Christmas music in a public place. I heard it again on Wednesday and saw someone putting up yard decorations yesterday. This makes me crazy.

I do enjoy the holiday season for the most part. (It's kind of a mixed bag for me.) But why do we have to rush towards it? Why can't we just enjoy Thanksgiving? You know, the holiday that comes between Halloween and Christmas. The one where we're supposed to show gratitude. Gratitude, perhaps, for all the material things society is been pressuring us to buy for Christmas.

Part of my annoyance regarding the extended holiday season is because I like Thanksgiving. It gets overshadowed since it isn't as profitable a holiday. No myriad of gifts to buy. No costumes and tubs of candy. It only requires food. And family and friends. But if you go into craft-type stores like Garden Ridge or Hobby Lobby, you may be able to find generic Fall decorations for about 3 days (less in Garden Ridge). You don't really hear of Thanksgiving sales...only the day after Thanksgiving. The "thank God that holiday is over so we can really focus on Christmas" sales.

So I've been thinking about how the holidays fall. I thought that maybe we should move Thanksgiving. But that's not a good solution either. Thanksgiving has to be in the fall. We celebrate life's bountiful harvest during the time of bountiful harvest. I like the traditional Thanksgiving foods. It would be weird to eat all those carbs and pies during the summer (although I enjoy carbs and pie year-round). We can't move Christmas. So I'm thinking maybe it could be Halloween. What if we made it at the beginning of October? And while we're at it, make it fall on the first Saturday of the month. Parents wouldn't have to feel so rushed getting the kids ready for trick-or-treating after a long workday. Childless adults could always have a fun night to go out and party since it seems weird to dress in costume and hit the bar on, say, a Tuesday. I know Halloween has historical reasons as to why it is when it is...but does that history matter anymore? For any holidays really... But in all likelihood, moving Halloween up would just extend the Christmas season even further.

Aside from Thanksgiving getting overshadowed, I dislike the Christmas push because it stresses me out. Time goes by so quickly as it is, why try to make it go even faster? Businesses shouldn't try to make people feel inadequate if they haven't finished their shopping by mid-November. Personally, that just makes me want to buy a handful of giftcards and call it a day. But then I'd feel guilt. I enjoy finding that perfect gift for someone who means a lot to me. So I'm sitting here trying not to feel rushed and overwhelmed. Hopefully that will be successful. And if not, I may be the first person to wish you a happy Halloween next year. I hope the costume on October 6th doesn't alarm you.


katielady said…
I totally agree. Although I am usually one of those people who buy Christmas presents early, but only for the financial aspect of having more than half of them paid for before January. I don't put up decorations until the week after Thanksgiving.

However, this year Christmas has snuck up on me because I've been so pre-occupied with preparing for Tater. I only have ONE gift so far! Yikes! It makes me kind of crazy, the rush, that's the other reason I'm usually buying before now. That, and I DETEST shopping crowds. Always have, always will. I feel like a man in that regard....
Bubba's Sis said…
I could not agree more!!! And my daughter absolutely refuses to listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving. Hard to avoid, tho, isn't it? It's everywhere! Along with the trees, the wreaths, the lights, the Santas (he's already at our mall and has been there for over a week!). AAAAA! I haven't even begun to think about shopping yet - mainly because I've been pretty preoccupied taking care of Invalid Hubby for 3 weeks - but geez! Give me a minute to catch my breath!
Anonymous said…
We started buying gift cards a couple of years ago in my quest to reduce holiday stress. Actually, the recipients seem happy about them because everyone likes to shop for themselves! I do make exceptions if I find something that just CALLS OUT to be a gift for someone, but generally speaking, I can finish my shopping in an hour or less.

I am with you on the subject of too much materialism at Christmas, but I'd also be lying if I said I don't like getting gifts! =)
Bubba's Mom said…
Actually saw a house in our neighborhood with Christmas lights already glowing!! I am a chronic sufferer of the Christmas Crazies, so that said, you know how this whole shebang affects me. I used to love the hustle & bustle of shopping, but that was waaaay back when people shopped downtown. Now that there are only malls and everybody drives, it's a nightmare. I find myself just wandering around the stores, accomplishing nothing. I should do more shopping on-line I guess.
wendy bird said…
i agree! my work causes me to know some odd trends. due to the overwhelming amount of online commerce retailers and others are expected to be globally minded. people in other countries do not celebrate thanksgiving. what else is there to do but skip it...and move straight to christmas.

it stresses me out too.

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