I’m a wee bit dismayed that Thanksgiving seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle between the Halloween and Christmas marketing hype.
I’m not ready to celebrate Christmas yet. I’m not even 100 percent sure I’m ready for Thanksgiving, and it was five days ago. I found a bowl of corn salad hiding in the refrigerator behind a big box of Christmas candies. I completely forgot to put it on the Thanksgiving buffet, so I guess I need a do-over.
Christmas seems to come earlier with each passing year. Didn’t we just put our tree on the curb a couple of weeks ago?
I noticed the first Christmas display in mid-October while shopping for Halloween candy at Sam’s – a store which should have its own zip code.
Don’t get me wrong. Lest you think I am a Grinch-loving Scrooge, let me assure you that I’m “Miss Christmas.” Love everything about it – the music, the smells, the twinkling lights, the gifts, family gatherings, the Christmas Story. It just seems kind of cruel to begin the public build-up in late October or early November, and then make kids wait two months before they can open their presents.
The over-exposure of all things merry and bright completely dilutes the great feeling you’re supposed to get when the actual holiday arrives. You’re too exhausted to enjoy it, and ready to pull out your hair if you have to listen to “Frosty The Snowman” one more time!
I’m reminded of my childhood when we went out and cut our cedar tree about a week before Christmas. Any earlier, and you would have a dead tree on Christmas day. Outdoor decorations consisted of a plastic wreath we plunked on the door around December 20.
My mother subscribed to the theory that any house lit up with Christmas lights was gauche. She called them “honky tonk lights.” If she could see my house today, she would be so ashamed. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if a pick-up truck load of winos stopped by one evening for a nightcap.
Back in the day, we never heard of Black Friday, and I expect any store which opened on Thanksgiving Day would have been boycotted. These days, shoppers are leaving the table before the pumpkin pie is served to buy a cheap flat paneled television set – never realizing the store probably had about three at those blockbuster prices.
I recall my daddy always doing his Christmas shopping on Christmas eve between four and five p.m. Holiday stress was a foreign concept for most men of the 50s. Credit cards existed solely for gasoline and people paid cash for their Christmas gifts.
Starting the Christmas hype machine before the Thanksgiving meal has been digested is bad enough. Starting it when it’s still 75 degrees and you’re still wearing Bermuda shorts and a tan from a bottle, is just insane.
Having said all this, I notice today is December 1. So, let the Christmas games begin.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville. She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com .