For me, the countdown to Thanksgiving (the last Thursday in November in the US) means officially heralding in the Christmas season. This has always been the way things have been done in my family. But for the last 15 years or so, the holiday season seems to creep earlier and earlier in sales land. Pre-lit Christmas trees compete for space with jack o lanterns now. This past year, I actually saw garland being strung right after Labor Day (the first Monday in September). I know stores feeling the pinch of the recession want the longest shopping season possible, but I don’t *really* want to shop for tree lights while preparing for a July 4th barbecue. Do you?
All that being said, I’ve also been guilty of the Christmas Creep, only not with shopping but with music. I started listening to my all Christmas radio station on November 11th. In an interesting creep of its own, the radio station asked its listeners to vote when the holiday music should start. Each year, the audience voted earlier and earlier until the station determined it should start no sooner than Veteran’s Day. It’s a bit strange listening to “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas” interspersed with commercials for Veteran’s charities, but there it is.
You might think I would be tired of holiday music even before the season starts, and you would be wrong. The holidays ordinarily infuse me with a sense of contentment and well bearing, like the smell of jet fuel does for travel. (What, you didn’t read my London travelogue?) I say ordinarily because at times the stress of the holidays, with shopping, deadlines, and the need to be jolly even when I may not feel that way, gets in the way of actually enjoying the season. So I try to celebrate with things, like Christmas tunes, before the holidays get underway. I changed my computer and iPhone wallpaper over to holiday themes. My ringtone is “Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer.”
I even thought about putting up my tree, but something stopped me – have to wait for Thanksgiving first.