17 November 2006

That time of year, again

On Tuesday, a box of handmade chocolates arrived at the office, a holiday gift from a would-be employee. Last night, I spent a few minutes in Talbots (I need new socks; you would figure Talbots, while not a place the under-50 should normally shop, would be good for these, but in the end, I didn't feel like paying $9/pair), and there was Christmas music playing. The Rockefeller Center tree has been delivered and this morning, on my way through Penn Station, I heard the clanging of a Salvation Army bell. There are 37 days until Christmas, which I think is too many for there to be gold-and-red garland strung in the Long Island Rail Road waiting area already.

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving is next week, and I am looking forward to cooking, eating, and hanging out with my entire family. I am not a Black Friday crack-of-dawn shopper, though, and have always wished that the Christmas season could hold off until at least December 1st. In fact, what I would really like is for the music and the parties and the shiny clothing on mannequins in store windows not to start until, say, December 12th. Then we can all rush around like crazy people to get our shopping done and cards written, which, let's face it, we're going to end up doing anyway, and when the 24th arrives, it will still be a little exciting, and not the exhausted end of a race.

I've always thought it was sad, and not a little weird, to see trees put out on the curb, bits of silver still clinging to the branches, two days after Christmas. In my family, we'd never put up the tree until Christmas Eve, and it stayed up until Epiphany, or as we called it as children, Little Christmas, on January 6th. We'd get one last, small present -- a book, usually -- before the tree came down, and in some ways, it was better than Christmas itself, for being extra.

Of course, it's hard not to think of the traditions of your childhood as being the right ones, and everything else is just wrong, and furthermore bad, but I do think we should try having the holiday season coincide with the actual holidays, and not be one long consumerist frenzy from the weeks before Halloween through the January sales. Chanukah doesn't begin until December 15th this year; this could be the time to try it.


Blogger melissa said...

it bothers me that between halloween and christmas, thanksgiving gets the short straw. Why don't we celebrate Thanksgiving and *then* start with the christmas decor etc?

not to mention the simple fact that christmas has become just another reason to be gluttonous consumers.

As for christmas trees, I just think they're pretty. I leave mine up as long as possible!

2:30 PM  
Blogger tammara said...

I completely agree - my Mom's birthday is Dec 8th, and that's when we'd all go get a tree. It just seems silly to think about Christmas until then.

7:05 PM  

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