Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Early Bah Humbug

Is it just me or are others bothered by the Christmas decorations that are suddenly appearing? I want to enjoy turkeys and Pilgrims another week before having to think about trees, candy canes and Old Saint Nick. At the shopping centers there are holiday decorations right beside pots of fall mums and wreaths of leaves and gourds. Somehow, the bright greens and reds clash with the muted autumn colors.

I don't like disparity. And I like it even less since my husband died. I cringe at clashing colors and I want one holiday to be officially over before starting the next. A few days before Halloween the local hardware store actually had some inflatable snowmen out - talk about me having the heebie jeebies. Yesterday I heard the radio station that plays all Christmas music on the air. Years ago, they didn't start broadcasting the exclusive holiday music until Thanksgiving. Why is everything being moved up sooner?

It almost seems like we are shortchanging Thanksgiving and diminishing its meaning by rushing in the holiday season. What I learned from my husband's death was that it is important to savor the moments we have in our life and not try to hurry onto the next exciting event. Or maybe it also stems from the fact that when you're caring for someone very sick, life becomes so crazy and jumbled up that clarity and unity not disruption are longed for. I passed a home with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations both up. Maybe if I ever live in a home again and have the opportunity to decorate my yard I'll put up a Thanksgiving display and keep it up through Christmas. That might give people some pause as to my meaning - it would be a protest of premature celebrations.


  1. I totally agree with you!! One holiday at a time to savor and enjoy the meanings of each!!! When I was young, my parents didn't shop until after Thanksgiving, usually that Friday. Our house was decorated some, but we never put the tree up until Christmas Eve. It made Christmas Eve a special time, something we looked forward to as much as Christmas morning. Like you said, too much hurry from one thing to the next, but isn't that the way our society is on everything now-a-days! Blessings to you my friend!!!

  2. Actually your post got me thinking 'why not?'. Let's put decorations up outside before the ground freezes and my fingers snap off from the cold. The past several years I've ignored Christmas or Thanksgiving decorations, having no cheer and missing that husband who did most of the work. Now maybe I can introduce some cheer on my own terms, without pressure join all the commotion. I'll let you know what I do!

    Regarding shopping malls' tacky timing: it's all about the money. They don't get my business, I growl. But the artist in me loves the spectacle!

  3. Flo - Actually I see your point as well. We did not have a Christmas tree or any decorations last year and my youngest son did ask if we could have one this year. Maybe it all comes down to balance and is what is right for us. But I still do think it is all way too much commercial hoopla and that inflatable snowmen in October is a bit much even for the most spirited among us!

    Beth - When I was first married my husband and I had the tradition of exchanging gifts not on Christmas but New Year's Eve/Day. It gave me extra time to shop the sales - that was before you can get deals way ahead of time. Back in the day, sales would only start right after Christmas. Anyway, I still believe all the rushing doesn't allow us to savor or enjoy the holiday at hand because our minds are already on to the next one ahead!

    I once put up a tree the day after Christmas (but I had a newborn at home and I figured it was better than never!). I have also left trees up through March changing the ornaments - snowmen and snowflakes for Jan., hearts for Feb., St. Patrick's theme for March.

    I will say though that pulling any kind of holiday cheer, decorating, food and celebration has become more difficult as an only parent. It was hard enough when I had a husband around to make runs to the grocery store and fix the broken lights on the tree...