Christmas Cards Help Stretch My Happy Season

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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…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Eli July 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

As a former retail employee who worked in one of the ‘major’ department stores, I can fully understand the revulsion expressed in your write-up regarding the early displaying of everything Christmas. Being on the sales floor each and every day from early October when Santa and Rudolph first appeared until just after New Years was mind-boggling and torturous. All in pursuit of the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.

Bryan July 20, 2012 at 8:06 am

‘Money makes the world go ’round… world go round, world go round”. It’s not just a song, it’s the truth. I also worked in retail during the holidays, and by the time Christmas comes, I am done with it and ready to move on.

Marcella September 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Try making Christmas cards twelve months a year! Well I do and I never know what season we are in so when the Holidays do roll around the only thing exciting to me is getting Christmas cards from family and friends. I love hearing from all of the folks that have been too busy during the year to chat-A Holiday card is a way to catch up

Mike September 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

I agree… Its only September and I’ve seen Christmas items in all of the retail stores the last couple of weeks. It kind of takes away from the spirit of the season since by the time it arrives your sick of it. But I suppose the above comments are correct… it is all about the money.

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