For the past few days, I’ve spent far too much time shopping for a pair of shoes to wear to my son’s upcoming wedding, fruitlessly trudging from store to store in search of the one-inch heel, black, patent-leather pumps that I need to match the dress I plan to wear. All that time in the local malls quickly revealed two equally depressing things. The first is that no one is selling the shoes I want (at least not in my size and without a toe so painfully pointed that it could double as a drill bit), and the second is that all the major retailers think the Christmas season is upon us. And I started my shoe shopping before Halloween.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much as the next person, and probably a whole lot more. It’s my favorite holiday. I actually tend to go a bit overboard with decorating my house, putting up two Christmas trees, covering almost every horizontal space with Santas and nativity scenes, and stringing lights all over the front of my house. This year, I may even light up the garage if I can talk my husband into it. But none of those decorations are going up until after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to begin my Christmas celebrations so early that by the time December 25th actually arrives I’m already tired of Christmas.
Personally, I hate seeing the stores decorated for Christmas in October or early November. I don’t want to see television commercials proclaiming “the holidays are here” two months before Christmas day. This is still Fall, for goodness sake. The leaves are still turning colors on the trees, people still have pumpkins and mums on their porches and I haven’t even started thinking about how my family is going to celebrate Thanksgiving yet. This is not the time to worry about Christmas shopping or wonder exactly how many extra strands of outdoor lights I’m going to need this year.
We live in a time when it is already increasingly difficult to be mindful of our surroundings and to “live in the moment.” We are constantly distracted by our cell phones, computers, etc., and bombarded with information from all over the world, most of which is both disturbing and overwhelming. It’s a struggle to even recognize the “here and now,” much less appreciate it. I just don’t think we need to add this constant pressure to rush through the present by looking ahead to a holiday season that is still several weeks away.
Yes, I love Christmas and I am truly looking forward to it’s arrival. But meanwhile, I want to fully experience the season that I am actually living in. I want to savor the cooler weather which has finally arrived, and to really notice the trees that are suddenly sporting such beautiful colors. I want to live in this moment and this day. Yes, I know Christmas is coming, but it needs to wait for its turn.