Christmas Cards herald, what was always to me, the happiest time of the year. That first card to arrive by mail, usually the day after Thanksgiving, from the one early bird sender of my acquaintances, was often the first thing that really confirmed it – Christmas was officially coming!
You may say, and I’m sure you would be right, that stores are trotting out their Christmas sales and decorations earlier every year. To me, that seems more nagging than festive. Sometimes I can see a reason for it: for instance, if Hanukkah is early that year, early sales and Hanukkah decorations allow equal opportunity for all holiday shoppers. Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the New Year, however, are celebrated on the same calendar dates every year, starting way late in December.
Why am I seeing Christmas decorations everywhere before we’ve even reached Halloween? Am I the only one who thinks it looks tacky enough to see the dregs of last-minute Halloween costumes, candies and decorations, mixed in with the occasional and obligatory cardboard pilgrims with turkey-shaped candles? Adding insult to injury are the hastily added mechanical Santas, trees, ornaments, stockings, and cotton “snow” that have apparently been gathering dust in storerooms all summer.
And, yes, I know that I have to think about ordering my custom-made, personalized Christmas cards well before Christmas, but that’s my personal choice, not something that’s forced on me everywhere I go. And, isn’t it enough to hear Holiday music everywhere you go during the traditional four-week Advent between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Why must we listen to it for eight weeks?! (Composers take note: clearly, we need more Halloween and Thanksgiving songs.)
While I find that receiving Christmas cards over the course of a month helps to stretch out the joy of the holiday, I hate seeing the commercialism stretched to the point of warping.
Now… if you really want to get my goat, we can discuss the sad, dirty, sagging, bedraggled outdoor Christmas decorations that are such an eyesore long after the holidays have passed…