RIP, Halloween. Nice to know you, Thanksgiving.
It’s the second week of September, but we’ve already skipped ahead. Walk into retail stores across the country and you’ll see it– Christmas holiday décor has already arrived in many places, filling up the shelves with holiday cheer.
When I first saw it on LABOR DAY, I thought my eyes had seen a mirage. Surely that wasn’t a large display of elves, Christmas ornaments, holly, candy canes, and music in the middle of the store where I stood. That wouldn’t make any sense. Summer, after all, had just ended. Three months to go before the big season, and more than four months to the big day. No way would the store have décor for sale this early.
But I was wrong. I reached out and touched it. I smelled the holiday candles made of “Christmas spice” and listened to a windup toy sing “Jingle Bells.” I could have even tasted it, if I had wanted to, with a purchase of some classic peppermint ice cream.
The Holiday season had arrived, alright.
In fact, I think it arrives a little bit earlier every year. And, I know there’s a method to this. Stores want to get a jump on potential sales and they know that even seeing a display can create a subliminal message about shopping and spending.
But for me, seeing that stuff just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Now, before you say, “Sara, you’re a Scrooge! Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!”, just know that, I get it. After a couple unhappy holidays, I’ve come to love Christmas, too, and the holiday season that surrounds it, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s Day. I’ll go to any holiday party, and bake any holiday cookie. I can’t wait to decorate my house, go figure skating, and drive around looking at holiday lights while playing holiday music.
Of course, I also attend church during that time of year and reserve some extra time for volunteer work with those less fortunate than me. Christmas isn’t really about material things, anyway. It’s about family, friendship, and memories with those we love. It’s a chance to reflect on blessings we’ve been given and remember that in the end, God loved us so much that he gave us the very thing he valued the most–his son.
In other words, I’m into Christmas and ready to celebrate it.
Just not right now.
Right now, I’m thinking about football, pumpkins, falling leaves, corn mazes, apple festivals, the Camargo Hunter trials, turkeys, and my costume for whatever Halloween party we end up attending. Not Christmas. Tons of fun fall things happen in the weeks before December begins, and I think it’s a shame to overlook that.
So my question is, do we have to do this right now–in early September? Can’t we wait a few more weeks?