Not Yet

I don’t think anyone loves Christmas more than I do.  I love the lights, the smell of a real Christmas tree, the music, the cookies, the cards, the parties, and even the shopping.  Christmas is the one holiday I really look forward to each year, and have ever since I can remember.  But here’s the thing:  the last time I checked, Christmas doesn’t actually come until December 25.

I still remember standing on our front lawn one night with my father, looking at at the Christmas lights on the house across the street.  “Now that’s really pushing the season!” my father told me, shaking his head in disgust.  He couldn’t believe that anyone would put their Christmas lights up on December 1st.  I wonder what my father would have said about the woman I recently saw happily stringing lights and bells across her fence on November 1st.  Then again, I probably know exactly what he would have said, and it wouldn’t have been complimentary.

IMG_2107Personally, I think my father may have been a little bit too strict in holding off on his Christmas celebrations.  (The first year my parents were married, he didn’t look for a tree until late Christmas eve and all the lots were closed, but that’s another story.)  But I admit that it bothers me to see Christmas lights up in early November and to see fully-decorated trees in windows weeks before Thanksgiving.  Yes, we all get to decide when we begin decorating for our favorite holidays, but it seems to me that there’s such a thing as “too early.”

It’s weird to see someone’s leftover Halloween decorations being displayed right next to a house that is all decked out for Christmas.  It’s annoying to hear Christmas carols being played in the grocery store while I’m still trying to decide what size turkey I’m going to need for Thanksgiving this year.  And while I understand that stores want to put out their holiday merchandise as early as possible, I resent being forced to buy wrapping paper and other Christmas paraphernalia in November because I know perfectly well it will all be picked over by December 6th.  And replaced with Valentine’s Day decorations by December 20th, if not before.

Besides, my tiny little mind doesn’t multi-task well, so all this blending of the holidays is confusing for me.  I like to concentrate on one thing at a time.  So what’s wrong with waiting until one holiday is over before we begin the celebrations for the next one?  Whatever happened to “living in the moment?”  And how can we possibly enjoy the anticipation of our favorite holiday when we’re surrounded by people who insist on acting as if it’s already here?

Yes, I love Christmas.  Always have, and always will.  Which is why I also believe that it’s a holiday worth waiting for…..

75 thoughts on “Not Yet

  1. I start listening to Christmas music typically at the beginning of October, depending if it’s cooled down yet. So that’s me. And my older daughter is just as crazy. We call her the Christmas nazi! If I still had children, the holidays would seem more separate, because juxtaposing Halloween and Christmas would definitely make them crazy and confused. But now, it’s my house, my husband has ear pods, and bring it on Bing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We each get to make our own choices for sure!! Personally, I wait until the day after Thanksgiving (which would have horrified my father), but I know others start celebrating much earlier or much later. And as you say, it’s your house, your rules!!

      Like

  2. Our youngest daughter bday is Dec 15. Fit 20 years I wouldn’t decorate for Christmas until after her birthday so she wouldn’t feel cheated. Funny thing is, she never realized that was why we waited until she finally asked one year. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it funny how we assume people know what we’re doing for them, only to find out they don’t? But I do think that was sweet of you to hold off until after her birthday to celebrate. I know it’s hard on kids who have mid to late December birthdays!

      Like

  3. After living in different parts of the country, I find the decorating varies. In my part of the South, house decorations are up right after Thanksgiving and down at New Years. In New England the decorations were done closer to Christmas day, but left up for weeks afterwards, sometimes until spring. I drive by a house that always has a tree up inside and lit all year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting that it’s regional! When I grew up (in the midwest), we put our live tree up around the middle of December, and took it down on New Year’s day, mostly because it would dry out. But lots of people left theirs up until Epiphany, (Jan 6), and now that we have an artificial tree, so do we. But we put ours up the weekend after Thanksgiving. And I have friends who used to leave theirs up all of January, because she said December was so busy that they didn’t get to enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with everything you say here, Ann. The same thing happens in Australia. For example, my children really love hot cross buns (an Easter treat), which will be coming into season soon. However, my over-indulgence of them was enough to cure me of that bad habit for life. You can have too much of a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is why I love the season of Advent. By following the church calendar rather than the commercial establishments’ calendars, I get to enjoy the season — in season. Of course, December 25 is the feast day, but it’s also the beginning of those Twelve Days of Christmas — which we celebrated all the way through when I was a kid. I don’t put my tree up until about the third week of Advent, but I leave it up until Epiphany, on January 6. My season’s just as long — it’s just slid down the calendar a bit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The church calendar has always made more sense to me, too. When I grew up, everyone sort of knew that the Christmas season lasted at least until New Year’s Day and until January 6th for Christians. But now that it starts so early, lots of people take their decorations down on December 26! That just seems so odd to me. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  6. I’m with you on “living in the moment”. My oldest daughter & her family have a new house. She went headlong Christmas decor on Nov 1st. And that was a first. With the new house I think she just got too ahead of things. Let’s just hope the eggnog won’t spoil before Dec 25th. – Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly hope it doesn’t! Ha! But I bet you’re right, she’s just excited for her new house to be decorated for Christmas. My daughter is moving just after Thanksgiving, and she’s already planning the decorations in her new house!

      Like

    • That’s nice! They used to here, as well, or at least wait until the week before Thanksgiving. But just driving home from my mother’s houses tonight, I saw four houses with Christmas lights, and three others with their trees in the window!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think one of the reasons my husband and I stopped celebrating Christmas was the extreme commercialization and the nearly two months of pre-holiday hype. It’s not even the middle of November and we are seeing Christmas everywhere. Some of our neighbors have even put up their lights. When I was growing up, my mother had a rule: the Christmas tree can’t go up before December 15 and it must be take down on January 1. These days, by completely ignoring the holiday, I think I enjoy it more than ever.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m with you, Ann! Growing up with Scandinavian heritage, the tree went up the morning of the 24th and we 6 girls (cousins) decorated it and loaded the presents beneath it all morning. I began putting things up on Thanksgiving night when I became single. There was something about the bright lights that lit up the longer dark that was soul-pleasing. So I do that now with one little table tree in my little apartment. I’ve wondered whether some of us need that even more in these days of division and anger and panic. Christmas maybe becomes an anchor for the familiar in what feels dark and scary and out of our control. But I ramble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not rambling…..and I think you’re on to something. I also put my decorations up the day after Thanksgiving, and I find that the warm lights on the tree and the houses do lift my spirits on the cold, dark, nights. Just as the message of Christmas is a good counter to all the anger and fear around us. Maybe that’s why it gets harder and harder to take them down each year!

      Like

  9. Several years ago, I was in Sam’s Club and they had some musical Christmas blowups on display well before Thanksgiving. It may even have been before Halloween. So, I made sure no one was looking and unplugged them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m with you on this one. And it’s a tricky balance to decorate no more than one is willing to clean up, because my kids love to put up the tree, but I have to pack it all away– in February…!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, this could shock people. We don’t celebrate. At all… it has been an active choice that started slowly after the kids started leaving the house. I think it is bad for the environment, marketed as a commercial consumer day instead of celebrating a birth in a modest way. The whole tree thing just kills me being a tree lover! Real or artificial it kills the things I love, live trees in nature. I do bake and enjoy the social activities around the season but we just are doing our part to live a bit simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is actually a very smart decision! I love it too much to give up my celebrations, but I totally get what you are saying. It has become SO commercial. And honestly, if it stayed a religious holiday, things would be so much simpler. It’s the commercial holiday that makes everything so hard: you have to have money for gifts, you have to have a good relationship with your family so they will show up on December 24 or 25. But if we are really just celebrating Christ’s birth, anyone can go to church, sing a few songs and call it a day……It’s the Norman Rockwell version that puts all the stress on us!

      Like

  12. I tend to side with your dad, even though his views seem somewhat extreme in our commercialized world of consumerism. Like Whitehairgrace, my wife and I also have our roots in the European tradition. Here in Canada, we set up our tree a few days before Christmas, sang Christmas carols with our five boys and opened our gifts in remembrance of the greatest gift of all on Christmas Eve, which we are still doing with our grandchildren now. So you will understand, Ann, that I am also dismayed with the attempts of pushing the commercial agenda as early as the beginning of November.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I understand! That was the schedule I was raised with as well. We never put our tree up before December 15th (often later) and took it down on January 1. And Christmas Eve is truly the holiest day of the year, in my opinion. Now that we have an artificial tree, we put it up earlier and leave it up until Epiphany. But still, my very favorite part of Christmas is the Christmas Eve candle light service……that’s what Christmas is all about, in my opinion!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It seems to get worse every year, Ann. My neighbor, who is older than me, has just put her Christmas decorations up inside the house because she likes them. I usually put mine up by mid December but I am still fed up with them by the time Christmas comes around. Perhaps I am just in a Grinchy mood?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That post made me smile. I think your father shaking his head, said more than words can describe. And going to get the Christmas tree at the last minute reminds me of myself, cause I usually have a hard time with planning ahead. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yes! My Mom said that Dad actually just took a tree from the unattended lot, and left some money by the check out counter. I don’t think he ever waited quite that long again, but we never bought our tree before December 12. And we took it down on New Year’s day. I don’t think waiting should be a bad thing, but these days, the cards are stacked against us for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am one of those that starts right after I have recovered from my Thanksgiving dinner. This year I started shopping for decorations early as I was essentially starting over. With little storage room in an apartment, I have had to search for the smallest or flatest decorations that give the biggest impact. Not ideal but you make the best of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you….in my opinion, once Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas celebrations can begin! I hope you find some meaningful decorations that are also small and easy to store. We do just have to adjust our expectations to our situation, even when that is hard. Hope the holidays are good for you!

      Like

  16. When the stores push Christmas ever so early, you really feel the commercial vibes. Christmas is not an excuse to go shopping. In my heart, I know that Christmas is something we celebrate all year long. Christmas is about the birth of Christ, the birth of our Lord and Savior. The more we focus on the ‘heart’ of Christmas, the more joy we discover.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m somewhat pagan in my beliefs. I celebrate the coming of the light with the winter solstice on Dec 21, Like any vacation for me, half the fun is in the preparation. I don’t know about anyone else but I feel a need for a celebration in the dark of winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think some celebration is absolutely needed in the dark winter! Which is why I am a fan of holiday lights, because they light up the night. As far as I’m concerned, those could be left up until Spring. Thanks for the comment!!

      Like

  18. Happy holidays, Ann! I agree that our holidays are spaced out pretty well on the calendar, and that we should focus on one at a time. Personally, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Esther and I enjoy cooking and organizing the holiday feast, and relish the chance to host our family and friends. I think we have 13 coming this year, which is a nice manageable number.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I couldn’t agree more, Ann! I was horrified to see the first Christmas gingerbread in the supermarkets by September – and even though I did give in and bought and ate it, it somehow feels wrong. Young children are especially affected by all the Christmas stuff so early in the shops – they sometimes don’t understand that they still need to wait until they can have their presents. It’s sad that Christmas has become so over-commercialised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It just feels so wrong! And when my children were young, I especially resented it for the reasons you stated. Christmas goes on too long when we start it in early November…or even October…and the kids find it overwhelming. Thanks for the comment, Sarah!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.