Halloween is two days behind us. We haven’t even come down off our sugar high and there are candy canes and displays in the grocery stores for fruit cakes and Christmas cookie decorations.
It has always amazed me how early Christmas displays pop up. And I know I sound old when I say this, but the signs seems to be popping up earlier and earlier. Back in my day…..
OK. I really don’t remember what it was like back in the day. I was too excited for Halloween and getting tons of candy and then making it last until Christmas. At least. And because my sister would scarf up her candy within the week and I would carefully and deliberately ration my own stash — Christmas seemed a long way off.
And it is. 53 days away. But I was out shopping today and from the looks of things, I’d say it’s just around the corner. They’re even playing Christmas carols.
What about Thanksgiving? Or Election Day (today), for that matter? What about living in the moment? Or one day at a time? Why are we rushing things?
Zen-zen, people! Breathe.
I have a friend who refuses to decorate for a holiday until she is actually in the month that the holiday falls. I admire her restraint. I think the stores should follow suit.
But then I remember why the stores are getting ready so early. And that reminds me of the Green Day song “Macy’s Day Parade.”
“Give me something that I need
Because I’m thinking about
A brand new hope
The one I’ve never known
Cause now I know
It’s all that I wanted” – And I find these lyrics particularly interesting, today of all days. I don’t know how the elections are going to turn out in your area but I know in mine, people are ticked. They’re tired of the same-old-same-old from politicians on both sides. They’re disillusioned by the great hope our poor president promised two years ago.
I truly feel for the man. What a mess he has to clean up. A mess many people are expecting him to fix – and him alone. This recession, that was supposed to be over in the summer of 2009, seems far from over. Even if we wanted to celebrate with mass materialism, many people just can’t do it.
And I say? That’s a good thing.
We can blame Macy’s and Publix and the evil bankers on Wall Street. But when it comes right down to it, we’re the ones pulling out our credit cards and signing mortgage loans we have no idea how we’re going to honor. I read an article recently (I wish I remember where, but I don’t. Sorry!) that said 50 years ago the majority of Americans didn’t own homes and car loans were unheard of. You paid cash. You rented until you could put down a hefty down payment on a house. The only credit you used was with your local butcher or milkman.
We’re the ones getting sucked into the merchant’s insistence that we start celebrating (by spending, spending, spending on stuff we don’t need) early.
And we’re the ones who can show a little restraint.
Like my friend.
14 responses to “Christmas In November. Well, Actually I Saw Signs In September But I Refused To Notice.”
I went shopping late this year for Halloween decorations – late being the beginning of October. Nearly every store was pretty much sold out and had moved what little they had to the sale section to make room for Christmas decorations. I eventually found what I needed but it was not easy! I agree, it all starts ridiculously early for every occasion – one day after Valentine’s day the Easter eggs are on display! But those I know to stock up on early 🙂
Totally agree…I think it’s even worse here in Canada since our Thanksgiving is in the second week of October…the only other holiday we have between us and Christmas is Remembrance Day, and that’s not a “shopping” holiday.
I absolutely hate that stores push Christmas on us so soon. By the time December actually arrives, people have had enough. Too much of a good thing is bad. Making Christmas last for months ruins it.
Like you … I refuse to look and participate until it is actually the season. It is sad that holiday consumerism runs our lives … the important reasons for the seasons get lost is “buying stuff”.
Before the New Year begins, I can guarantee that the stores will be packed full of Valentine’s Day stuff … right next to the Christmas Clearance.
Anticipation is fun. Desensitization is not. Boo. I’m not even decorating for Christmas until school is out. And less shopping is on our agenda. Less IS more.
Preach it, sister. I do pick up gifts all year round if I see the perfect thing for someone, but that’s not a Christmas thing (I always think one gift for no reason at all is worth five or six birthday or Christmas presents). Trotting out wares this early just makes stores look cheap and easy and emphasizes the crass commercialism. I wonder if the numbers really prove that it’s worth it. Because that? would be sad.
When my son was young he would always say “I can’t wait until…”. I would always say “don’t wish your life away”… I love living in the moment, enjoying the day and what each day brings with it. If your always running to where your going you just might miss a money tree growing in the middle of downtown.
I hate Christmas being in the stores before Thanksgiving. I understand craft stores need to start early, but everybody? I find myself losing interest in going all out to decorate like I used to because I grow weary of it before I get started. Our Christmas giving has cut wayyyy back these days, partly because the budget won’t support what it did when we worked and partly because I’ve concluded that simple is better. Less is More. Fortunately, my kids agree.
I totally agree about Christmas, in fact the whole build up has spoilt the holiday for me. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, so we move straight from Halloween to Christmas. My mother has already bought loads of her gifts and wrapped them. By the time the 25th of December arrives, I’m totally sick of Christmas.
I’m coming to this post a day late, but I just wanted to say how much it resonated with me. As always, I appreciate your candor and insight. Debt is such a tricky thing. It can be hugely valuable and convenient, and can also be hugely challenging to manage appropriately. We aspire to so much, and hope (of all stripes – for holidays, for political change, for a larger home) can be such a powerful motivator. But it can also prevent us from being happy where we are and with what we have. Finding the right balance between acceptance and aspiration is no easy feat.
I wish they’d wait a little too. Let us enjoy the moment!!
There is this place by my house called “Santa’s Enchanted Forrest”. They had the lights up in AUGUST!
Well said! That’s an interesting historical note. That says a lot about how we’ve changed as a country. I agree with you, we really need to change the American Dream from “let’s all get rich and by stuff!” to enjoying the moment, finding peace, finding true happiness, and honoring love and forgiveness. Now that’s the America I want to be a part of! Yeah.
I’m for what Lewis Black said a year or two ago. “Christians get a handle on your damn holiday.” Seriously. It’s annoying. And Evan has noticed the Christmas lights in the stores and put 2 and 2 together and is asking for them on our house. Crap. Like we have the time. Or a ladder.
Coming here and reading feels like breathing balance and sanity. How do you do that—put your peace into your blog?
I refuse to decorate more than three weeks before a holiday, and never before the month of. But I finish my Christmas shopping, ideally, by September. Because I can’t take the pressure of the next few weeks. I can’t take it. It’s so depressingly intense to make it through the end of the year. And in my small way I make sure the financial panic that usually ensues never even makes it to our house. Because the money is spent. In cash. Months ago.
Happy Veteran’s Day, Jane!