This is what I came home to last night. Not pumpkins, skeletons, or witches flying through the night, like you would expect on Halloween. No, not me. I come home to find my Christmas tree set up already. According to my wife, she needs time to let the branches fall into place so it’ll be “just right” for the holiday. This revelation coincides with the fact that most stores spent this past week taking down the autumn colors of fall for Christmas red and green (and Hanukkah blue and silver).
It always seems like the holidays get here earlier and earlier every year. Television shopping channels like QVC have been air since July (halfway point, i.e. “Christmas in July”) selling Christmas gifts, foods, and decorations. Of course, Hallmark Channel started its non-stop bombardment of holiday movies since the beginning of October. It’s utter madness.
Look, I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year. I love the lights, the movies and music, the annual TV Christmas specials (Rudolph and Charlie Brown especially)., and giving back to family, friends, and your community. It’s best represented by Scrooge’s nephew Fred’s speech in the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”…
“There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew, “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round-apart from… the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that-as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
That’s what I love about Christmas, I just wish it wasn’t thrust “in your face” so quickly. I live with a woman who embodies the Christmas spirit all year long. I mean, the full nine yards (music, movies, 24/7, 365 days a year, with a Christmas Countdown as her smartphone wallpaper) which is something I love about her… But it’s not for me. I long for the old days when we eased into the holidays, one after the other.
Today, it is about the almighty dollar and retailers try to get as much “bang for their buck” in the short amount of time during the holidays. When I watch movies like “A Christmas Story” and “The Homecoming”, you see the simple life of what Christmas was about. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, you slowed down and took the time to enjoy the holiday. Now, we’re rushing around so much, before you know it, Christmas is over.
Let’s all take a breath, step back, feel “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” and listen for the sound of jingle bells. Let’s enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, good food and plenty of libations (remember, be safe with a designated driver) and all the love and happiness it brings. So Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa. Let the continuous bombardment of Christmas commercials, movies, music and TV specials commence.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniversepublishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.