With our first snowfall of the season occurring just before Halloween, people might have jumped the gun and gotten confused about which holiday should be celebrated. Yes, the holiday season is fast approaching; there are baked goods browning in the oven, gifts being meticulously wrapped and homes being decorated, inside and out. The air is filled with recorded angelic choirs, dolling the cheer of the season.
It really is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Nothing beats getting together with family and friends and recanting all that has happened in the months since you last saw each other. There is an overabundance of food, drink and, if you’ve been good enough, presents. School is also out for a good part of it.
But to truly enjoy the specialness of this season, our stores and friends must stop trying to start the season earlier every year. It is understandable that you want to get your Christmas cheer on, but relax a little.
Most people are still working on the stacks of Halloween candy they bought on sale on Nov. 1; no one is ready to start stocking up on chocolate Santas and candy canes. Some people have already decorated their lawns and house facades with lights, reindeer and inflatable Santas. The idea, I suppose, is to do it before it gets too cold, but there is really no need for you to plug them in and turn them on so soon.
Every year, like clockwork, right after dumping their Halloween decorations, stores break out their Christmas CDs and start playing holiday carols and songs in heavy rotation. It is somewhat understandable, considering that the winter holiday season is the biggest money maker for most retail stores. But it seems shallow to trade in the true joy of the holidays for the money.
The commercialization of the holidays is inevitable. Nevertheless, we need to stand up and protect what is rightfully our holiday season, whatever cultural or spiritual tradition. Marketers continue to pound our mailboxes with flyers asking us to “celebrating the holiday cheer.” We need to remind ourselves that it is not Christmas yet!
In the same way, a message of direction goes out to those who leave their Christmas lights up until Valentine’s Day or later. You are not festive. You are lazy. And the weather excuse just won’t cut it this time. Nothing says I’m a slothful, zero-taste, idiot like leaving your home decorated with holiday ribbons until Easter.
The thing that makes Christmas so great is that it only comes around once a year and is technically (and logically, if you’re looking at a calendar) only supposed to last one day. Being bombarded by jingle bells, decking halls and mistletoe for almost eight weeks can make a Grinch out of anyone come Dec. 25.