Friday, November 16, 2012

Not Yet


thanksgiving-vs-christmas 11-16-12


  I’ve had reason to be out and about doing some shopping these past few days, and I’ve been annoyed to hear Christmas carols playing in the stores.  On Facebook, I’ve also seen several pictures along the lines of the one posted here, so I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my annoyance.  I was going to write something about it, but, really, I already did that, a long time ago.  So, rather than re-invent the wheel, I’m simply going to repost my long-ago rantings now.  This is a post entitled, “Well, I Meant it at the Time”. . .

When I was younger, I made a promise to myself: I would never become one of those “old folks” who launched into diatribes of varying topics but that always began, “Why, back in my day”, and ended, “What is this world coming to?” No doubt, this promise has been made for countless generations past, and will be made for countless more to come.

But I had cause to think of that just this morning when I made a brief trip into town and saw Christmas wreaths hanging on the light poles on Main Street. Now, before you start checking your calendar, let me assure you that you didn’t misunderstand. There are Christmas decorations hanging in my hometown. And, I’m certain the city workers didn’t put them up yesterday, being Sunday and all. And Saturday, we had a home football game, and nothing interrupts the flow of traffic on those days. And back one day further, Friday was Veteran’s Day, so it’s unlikely they were hung that day, either. So, logically, that means those wreaths have been hanging since Thursday, November 10th, at the latest.

Now, I love holiday decorations as much as the next person, maybe even more than many. But it used to be that you had to wait until after Thanksgiving before you got to see them hanging around town. That’s always seemed pretty reasonable to me. Let’s at least deal with the major holidays in the order they appear on the calendar, with no skipping ahead.

I guess I should’ve seen it coming. I mean, I was in Wal-Mart last month, shopping for Halloween tidbits, and just one aisle over from the fake blood and scar tissue was the row of stockings and tree tinsel. I tried not to make too much out of it then; I mean, these are retailers, after all. It’s their job to push the envelope of marketing as far as it will go. But now my local government is in on this travesty, too, and I am appalled.

Not that we couldn’t all use a little extra time of Peace on Earth, and all the meanings of the holiday season, but I’m talking about the completely secular festivity of it all. That’s the part that’s only fun because it’s unusual, because it doesn’t happen every day. It’s something to look forward to and be treasured. How special can it be if it’s in our faces for 60 days out of the year? And, yes, I know, it’s been creeping up, getting a little earlier each and every year. But at this rate, it won’t be long until we’re bringing down the flags from Labor Day and immediately replacing them with those darned wreaths. And my future grandkids are likely to believe that the holiday season begins just after watching the last burst of the local fireworks display, which seems unfair, somehow.

So, yeah, back in my day, we only had a month of Christmas decorations, but it was a month filled with joy and wonder, because we wanted to hang on to every fleeting moment of it all. Now those moments aren’t so fleeting anymore, but they’re also beginning to lose some of their joy. And, I can’t help but wonder, what is this world coming to?