Zee inspired me to write about the holiday season with her post about remembering Thanksgiving. She’s got a good point, Christmas seems like it started in August this year, no wait, maybe that was Halloween and Christmas started in October. Wait, in fact, Christmas started Nov. 1, with early Black Friday sales targeted at reinvigorating the retail industry, er, I mean letting consumers get good deals for a much longer period of time.
So that brings me to the point of my post – I hate the commercialization of the holiday season. I really don’t even remember Christmas shopping when I was a kid, I do remember wrapping presents but I don’t ever recall being bombarded with ads and early decorated stores. Zee is right, Thanksgiving is getting completely ignored, sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas/Holiday season shopping.
I used to get very excited to decorate the house for Christmas when I was a kid – it was exciting to move the sofa to a new spot to make way for the Christmas tree and discover the goodies lurking behind the sofa. We never started decorating the house until December, but I used to love it! I loved decorating the tree, looking at ornaments and remembering when we made them. We were heavy on homemade ornaments in my house…torn construction paper and cotton ball Santas, hand-knitted candy cane holders that looked like reindeer, strange ceramic things decorated with paint, glue and some glitter.
Well, fast forward to middle school when my parents, in an outright act of child abuse, decided the family was going skiing for Christmas and we weren’t putting up a Christmas tree. What. The. Word I didn’t use when I was 12?!?!? Are you kidding me, no Christmas stuff? And you’re forcing me to go skiing (in the powder-licious Tetons) when you know I hated the one time we went at Snowshoe?
So for the rest of my childhood we didn’t decorate for Christmas anymore. And really, it was no big deal. I learned to enjoy the Christmas decorations other people put up and didn’t have to worry about putting everything away and miss parts of the Tournament of Roses parade. Plus I got to go skiing for a week or so and enjoy other people’s Christmas decorating efforts. A win-win situation all around if you ask me.
I went a little crazy when I got married and bought a ton of Christmas junk and decorated the house for a year or two, but for the past ten years, all that stuff has been languishing in a box(es). My husband frequently mentions it when I bring up the topic of getting rid of stuff we don’t use. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to do it just yet….
And not to forget Thanksgiving, the whole point of Zee’s post. I shared a Thanksgiving dinner with friends one year and we all had to hold hands and say out loud what we were thankful for. There were a lot of people I didn’t know at the dinner and I was a little weirded out by holding hands and sharing stuff like that with strangers. It was pouring rain that day and all I could think of was, “I’m really glad to have a roof over my head and indoor plumbing” (I had just gotten back from Iraq). Of course, that is what I said and it truly was something I was thankful for. It’s the little things in life that mean so much.
So think about what little things you are thankful for this year and resist the retailers’ push to skip right over Thanksgiving!
Photo by Ed Schipul, used in accordance with Creative Commons License