Christmas in July?

But waiting is the best part!

It was a busy day just before Halloween and I needed to pick up a few things from the local mall - not my favorite place to go, but not the worst either.  I figured I could grab the few things that I needed, you know, kill two birds with one stone, and maybe grab a smoothie on the way as a treat.  Mmmmmmmm....smoothie.  But I digress.  I walked into a major department store, whose shall remain nameless, and heard....Christmas music.  I thought, OK, perhaps they are just testing the music, just let it go, Carrie.  After three more Christmas songs, I swiftly turned around and left the building.

I couldn't believe it.  Christmas music NOW?  My God, the Thanksgiving advertisements have not even started yet, but Christmas is already going strong?  What next, Christmas in July?  Perhaps then our employers will only have to pay us for one holiday!

Now, before you think, good Lord, what a Scrooge, let me clarify something - I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  I love the entire holiday season, from Thanksgiving through to New Year's.  I love the comraderie.  I love the smells - turkey, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin.  I love spending time with friends and family.  I even love - stressful as it may be - Christmas shopping.  Finding that perfect gift for someone you love gives such a rush (though it's even better if you find that gift on sale).

Part of my love for the season, though, is exactly what we seem to be losing - the anticipation.  I wait all year for this season and, though we have plenty of other holidays and events to occupy our minds, as Christmas gets closer, I start to feel kind of like a kid in a candy shop.  When the countdown really begins, I feel like a wound spring just ready to jump.  So much goes into the season and when Christmas Day finally comes around we can rest and spend time with those closest to us.

So where is the anticipation when we start playing Christmas carols in October?  When I was growing up we never put out our Christmas decorations until the day after Thanksgiving.  It was a tradition.  As I drove up to our apartment building a few weeks ago, I noticed that more than one apartment had already hung Christmas lights over their balcony.  It made my blood boil for a split second, then I just sighed in defeat.

I know that people love Christmas. It just seems like the trend that every year Christmas celebrations begin earlier and earlier.  Where is the joy of holding back and waiting?  I can understand the selling of Christmas decorations and items.  I remember when my husband and I had no Christmas ornaments or any sort of decorations as we were newly married.  The selling of these items ahead of time really helped us out!  But the commercials, and the music......before Thanksgiving?  And people putting their decorations out?    For me, it just makes the holiday seem cheap, like a retail free for all.  It's like every store is trying to out do each other- "No, we'll get our decorations out first!".  That's just not what it's about.  To me, the season is all about the spirit. 

Saying that, I have now seen the errors of my ways.  I am letting these people get to me.  I can just walk by the houses and not look at the decorations until after Thanksgiving.  I can close my ears to the music when I am out and about.  It's a free country, they can do whatever they like.  In the end, I suppose these people at least have the spirit, and that is highly commendable.  Still, don't hold your breath for me to EVER put my decorations out before Thanksgiving.  You'll be waiting a long, long time.

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