Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Forgotten Holiday

Remember when stores waited until the day after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas?  Our children won't remember that - heck, I barely remember it.  Then it started the week before Thanksgiving.  Then two weeks before.  Now it seems like it starts the day after Halloween  unless of course we're talking about Costco, in which case, it starts the first of October!  
Costco Christmas display (

But its not just the stores.  People seem to have pushed up their Christmas schedules too.  Instead of Thanksgiving marking the beginning of the Holiday Shopping season, it seems to be marking the end.  Yesterday, we took a little trip to Target in the afternoon to get some household supplies, and we nearly turned around and went home when we saw the parking lot.  It felt the weekend before Christmas, not the weekend before Thanksgiving.  But then I realized that the weekend before Thanksgiving kind of is the weekend before Christmas.  People in my neighborhood put up their Christmas lights a week after Halloween.  

Now look, I love Christmas!  I love the lights, and the decorations, and the baking, and the Christmas music (thank goodness most radio stations are still waiting to start that tradition), and the Christmas goodness.  But just like any good thing, too much of it and it becomes, well, less good.  I don't want to be sick of Christmas before December even starts!  I want to relish in every little bit of Christmas, and maybe even feel a little sad when it is over, instead of practically throwing the tree out once presents are unwrapped.  

The other problem with all this early decorating is that we end up overshadowing what is already a severely underrated holiday - Thanksgiving.  I love this holiday!  I love it at least as much as Christmas.  But the problem with Thanksgiving is that it can't really be Hallmarked up.  Besides the food, and maybe some table scapes and cornucopias, there just isn't much room for bleeding people dry with Thanksgiving.  I think that's why it is getting such a shaft from retailers.  But this is what I love about the holiday!  Its celebration at it's purest.  Food, family, and giving thanks!  It's the opposite of a commercial holiday.  We're not clamoring to receive presents from Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny, and we're not out begging strangers for candy.  We're just enjoying our families and feeling thankful for what we have.  

And yet, despite my love for this holiday, even I find myself thinking of it as a stepping stone to Christmas.  Just this evening, Jason and I sat down to plan out our December, and then realized that Thanksgiving is 4 days away and we haven't really planned for that yet!  What am I thinking?  To be fair, Thanksgiving did catch me off guard with it's freakish earliness this year, but I'm still kind of embarrassed that it almost became an afterthought!  

So I'm boycotting all this Christmas.  I refuse to purchase anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving, and, because of it's earliness, I probably won't even do much until December 1st, a week later.  So there!

What about you?  Do you welcome all this early Christmas with open arms, or are you holding out and relishing sweet little underrated Thanksgiving?

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