The Monday after Halloween, I walked into Wal-Mart looking forward to finding a post-holiday bargain or two. When I couldn't find the aisle with the marked down stash, I asked an associate where the leftovers might be. She told me that everything had already been put away, as I watched several other associates bringing out carloads of Christmas to add to the bucketloads that were already on the shelves. GRRRR! Was my first thought. It wasn't even comfortably into November, let alone past Thanksgiving and already we were being barraged with Christmas. I was suddenly stressed at the vision of all I had to accomplish in the next four weeks.
Later though a thought of a different sort occurred to me as I passed a house who, just after Halloween had put up the Christmas lights and hung the wreathe on the door. What is it about Christmas that makes people want to start celebrating so early? Is there more to doing it than the commercialism I saw at Wal-Mart that day? I've decided that there is.
The joy that is felt and found at Christmas is like no other time of the year. We want it to be, we sing about keeping the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year, but we forget by New Year's what all that was about and go on with our lives. So starting early I think is people's way of getting as much out of the holiday joy as they can. It didn't used to be that way, because it didn't have to be. The pressures of the world continue to be turned up and life is busy and hectic and hard. Yes it's wondeful too, but the special kind of wonderful that is only found at Christmas is much further from everyday than it used to be.
So, I'm ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving is done and December is tomorrow! We've already had some carols playing from CD players in the house. We'll start putting up decorations tomorrow, and I'm excited. Don't remember feeling excited like this in a while. It's wonderful!