’Tis the season … and has been for quite a while

By on December 7, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

Thanksgiving having come and gone, we’re now hip-deep in “the holiday season.” But if you judge strictly by store decorations, we’ve been in it for many weeks already.

I have mixed feelings. I love the spirit of the season – I’m all for anything that gives us an excuse to get together and celebrate with family and friends, particularly if the promotion of peace and goodwill is involved. But the gradual intrusion of what I think of as December holidays on Thanksgiving and even Halloween – it seems to start a little earlier every year – bugs me.

Maybe it has always been this way, but it seems to me that we used to be able to let Thanksgiving just be Thanksgiving, without the day after being such a noteworthy holiday shopping day that it now has its own name: Black Friday. And Halloween was so totally separate, it might as well have been in mid-summer. Not anymore. These days the fall colors and iconic images of Halloween and especially Thanksgiving find themselves more and more fighting for our attention with those of the December holidays.

Commerce is king, I guess, and there’s no use whining about it. But I liked it better when October was just about costumes and trick-or-treating, November was devoted to turkey, stuffing and being thankful for one’s blessings, and December – all by itself – gave us plenty of time for decked halls, spinning tops, lit candles and all the other year-end holiday activities, including shopping.

“Christmas, a humbug?” No way – like I said, I love the spirit of the season. I just would rather not be assaulted by the December holidays before Thanksgiving, let alone Halloween. My advice is to ignore the December holidays (if possible) until it’s actually December, and then focus on what’s most important about them: things like friends and family, spirituality, generosity, kindness, gratitude and peace.

But that’s just my opinion. Enjoy the season in whatever way you prefer, and be safe out there. And if you have any holiday survival tips you’d like to share, let us know.