Well, I noticed it happening about a month ago……that dreaded event that sends many people on both sides of the debate into a frenzy…..some even getting hysterical and violent. Yes, I’m talking about the Christmas decorations in stores……BEFORE Halloween or Thanksgiving! Enough, already!
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas, and the spirit of Christmas. My mother loved that time of year, and made sure to instill the spirit of giving and spending time with family into my sisters and me. She never once told us that Santa wasn’t real, and I have never once said that to my children or anyone else. Santa, or the spirit of St. Nicholas and giving, IS real. Without turning this into a religious debate, or theme, the Christmas SPIRIT is about love, family, friends, food, giving and sharing, time to be together, etc. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, but I have friends and family who are not religious, or follow a different religion. They can still celebrate this season because they appreciate that spirit. Yet, when we have the commercialism of the season thrust in our faces well before the season is upon us, it does make some of us want to boycott.
I understand kicking off the season during the Thanksgiving holidays. I used to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year, as I could smell the turkey roasting in the oven. As soon as it was over, with Santa making his first appearance of the season, I would help my mother and sisters with the preparations for our family meal. We began putting up our tree during this week because my sisters would be home from college, and wanted to participate. My mother decorated the whole house beautifully with lights, greenery, decorations, and the tree with our treasured ornaments on it……some we made when we were little, some belonged to my grandparents, and a lot were given to my parents by church members. I have a lot of those ornaments on my tree now. My tree definitely doesn’t belong in a department store, and doesn’t have a color scheme or particular theme, but it is FULL of love and memories of people I love, and places I have lived or visited. I think it’s beautiful! It represents our family, and the love we share. It always makes me a little sad to take it down. I look forward to putting it up every year, and decorating the whole house, but not before Thanksgiving, and don’t even talk to me about it before Halloween!
Thanksgiving deserves to be recognized more. It does go hand in hand with Christmas, and the love of family and gathering together, but why do we skip straight to Christmas without being thankful for all we have? My husband spent a long time living out of the country, so he missed out on Thanksgiving for thirty years. He loves Thanksgiving! He really gets upset to see the Christmas decorations out in stores too early! Now that he’s back in the United States, he wants to enjoy this holiday as it should be enjoyed……being thankful for EVERYTHING…….family, friends, love, good health, food, a roof over our heads, jobs, freedom, and having each other.
The commercialism of Christmas is greedy, and is killing the happiness that some of us feel about it. Am I sounding a bit like Charlie Brown here? When I say I love Christmas, some have misunderstood, thinking I love the commercialism. Nope! Nope! Nope! Absolutely not! I’ve never been to a Black Friday sale. I’ve never bought into having to have the latest trendy toy for my children, risking my life to get it! I put my tree up during the Thanksgiving holiday, and leave it up until New Year’s. I’ve never felt like I have to compete with someone to make sure we have the best toys, clothes, gadgets, electronics, or furniture. I hate going into stores during the holiday season because of the crowds. I hate seeing the Black Friday (or even Thursday) crowds trampling each other for material things, or hearing of people shooting each other for merchandise. That’s not what it’s about, folks! Fortunately, some stores are starting to at least stay closed on Thanksgiving, but it isn’t enough.
We have to stop buying into the corporate greed and forgetting the true meanings of these cherished holidays. Stop buying into the greed and meaningless newer customs of having to have more and more materialistic things! If you want to keep your tree up year round, decorating for different seasons, go for it. A lot of people do this. But don’t shove fake spirit down our throats. Commercialism and greed disguised as spirit isn’t spirit. Look around you. Be thankful for all you have. Stop buying crap you don’t need just because some talk show host or magazine article says you need it. Better yet…..why not carry the true spirit of Christmas with you year round? Why not be in the holiday spirit every day, giving the gifts of love, time, patience, tolerance, generosity, thankfulness, togetherness, and compassion for each other?
Yeah…..I don’t have much faith in that either…..but I can at least try to set that example. In the meantime, I guess Al and I will just stay out of those businesses that insist on blasting us with their phony corporate “spirit” and greed. And no one better ever tackle me for a holiday air freshener just because Oprah said to buy one! Call me Scrooge or the Grinch, but I’m pretty sure I have a better handle on this than those who insist on rushing the season, and forgetting what is truly important in life! Corporate America, and American consumers need to stop making it about money and materialism. That’s not what it’s all about.