(Note: This picture is posted with much sarcasm on my part, courtesy of Target.)
The past few years, I've really gotten sick of the "Christmas spirit." We're hit with it from all sides so much that I'm sick of it before December even comes around, let alone Christmas itself.
But this year, it's already gone too far. I mean, waaaaayyy too far. Weeks ago, Jason and I were walking down the second floor in the mall, and they already had the little Christmas trees hanging from the balcony. We stopped with jaws dropped when we saw those, looked down, and saw that they were setting up for Santa's huge area down on the first floor. In early OCTOBER.
Mom and I went to Asheville this weekend for some wedding work. Biltmore already has up the Christmas tree in the winery, and the big tree is up in the fountain in front of the house. But I give them a break, because they do the Christmas candlelight evenings. BUT last year, the Candlelight evenings started the last weekend of November, which was when we actually went to see it all. But this year, they're starting on November 6... which meant they had the trees up on Halloween, when we were there! I mean, come on, Christmas decorations in October, really? I just went to Biltmore's website, and apparently they're already geared up, lit up, and ready for the Christmas-happy visitors...
(Photo credit Biltmore.com)
[Note: I am not bashing Biltmore in any way. I love Biltmore. :-) ]
Mom and I did some shopping yesterday as well. Went in a few stores, and all was fine. Then we set foot in Kohls. Not a few minutes in, and we reached a quiet area. You know those times when suddenly you can hear the music in department stores? Well it happened... and I couldn't believe my ears. Keep in mind, this was NOVEMBER 2nd, people. Halloween was only 2 days before. The words I began to hear over the speakers were... "Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..." I can't describe the icky feeling I had inside. I shuddered. I shook my head. I think I made some disgruntled noises out loud to my mom, halfway hoping the nearby employee stocking the shoes would hear me. Ugh. I mean, I hear that song, and typically feel the epitome of Christmas spirit. It should be cold outside, with Christmas day shortly over the horizon. Snow is optional, but welcomed. Cozy fires are preferred. But November 2, when I'm surrounded in the majority of the store by pumpkins, cornucopias, fall-colored leaves, turkey decorations, and Halloween costumes on clearance?? REALLY?? I was so close to finding the manager of the store and asking what the heck they were thinking. But I just couldn't stand to be in the store much longer. We left, and I had to shudder some more once I walked out and get that way-too-early Christmas feeling out.
Next stop was Michaels, for some craft supplies. I won't get on my soapbox again, but you can probably guess what they were playing... what else but more Christmas music? Plus, in these stores, they now have all the Christmas decorations right up front as soon as you walk in. It's ridiculous. And we can't get away from it without separating ourselves from society completely. Even the discount stores like Ross and Homegoods are doing it, which is sad.
I was watching ABC Family last night, and they started advertisements for some Christmas movies. I didn't pay much attention, thinking it was the "normal" (today's version of normal) advertising for their Christmas movies they run all December... they call it the "ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas." (I only remember that because they advertise the darn stuff so much during the holidays that you can't help but get it stuck in your head... plus those 25 days monopolize the time they'd usually show some halfway-good movies on TV, which I think every other station is in on too... so basically it's either Christmas TV or no TV at all for all of December.) Anyway, the particular commercial I saw last night turned out to not be for the 25 Days movies... it's for a Christmas movie marathon they're starting up soon in ANTICIPATION of the 25 Days movies. Yes, they are going to play a marathon for most of November... of Christmas movies. Yay, can't wait. I'm probably better off anyway... less TV to feel the need to watch.
It's like some crazy person started Christmas WAY too early this year, and everyone else in the world felt like they had to keep up, maybe some sort of domino effect or something. Whatever happened, I really feel a need to fix it. First of all, the real meaning of Christmas has been completely lost for a long time - much longer than the holiday spirit has been coming out too early. Christmas is about the birth of our Lord, and celebrating his grace, mercy, and gift of eternal life to us. Second, I really like Thanksgiving. It's a great holiday. With a great meaning as well. And it's really getting lost in the shadows with all this early Christmas hype, kind of like a little road bump on the long, huge, speeding-fast road to Christmas. It's like a little pothole in the road... "What was that?" "Oh, just Thanksgiving. It's ok, keep going! We've got so much to do!!" Blegh.
Growing up, you just didn't decorate for Christmas until the free-for-all day, which was the day after Thanksgiving. When you went shopping that day, aka Black Friday, THAT was the introduction to all the Christmas stuff in the stores. THAT was when you were free to be bombarded with all the Christmas spirit, and you're actually allowed to enjoy it and start to immerse yourself in it, should you so choose. And even if you didn't go shopping, you could stay home and start to pull stuff out of the attic and closets to begin all the Christmas decorations. THAT was when you started getting into it. I personally never liked doing all that until December actually started, but that Friday was at least the unspoken "release" date.
I can recall times growing up that it seemed things were happening a bit early. I can remember neighbors setting up their trees early, just so they could "go ahead and have it done, and enjoy the holidays, instead of decorating all the time." I never thought too much of it. I remember when the radio stations started playing Christmas music in high school for the entire month of December... annoying, but hey, I let it slide - at least it's December. But now, it's absolutely insane. I heard on the radio today about one of the DJ's family doing their Christmas photos, and they already have them printed and ready to start addressing. Saves time I guess, but I just can't imagine dressing up for Christmas photos before Halloween is even here. Even our families now have all Christmas things set up for the family Thanksgiving get-togethers. I'm not complaining, because yes, it's pretty. And yes, it lets you actually enjoy December and revel in the Christmas spirit, instead of spending it all to decorate, just in time to take it all down. But it just solidifies that everyone has gotten used to starting Christmas way earlier than we used to.
Any thoughts on how to get things back to the way they used to be??