Christmas this early? Really?

We started rehearsals already for our Christmas musical at church.

“What?” you say. “Rehearsing already for Christmas? But that’s months away!”

Yes, that’s what I said. Rehearsing for Christmas in September.

Holidays flow onto each other

Autumn runs into Christmas
Autumn runs into Christmas

These days, holidays seem to flow onto each other. As storekeepers are clearing merchandise from one occasion, they’re stocking for the next. July fifth is the day to see flags and patriotic frou-frous replaced by autumn flowers and scarecrows. Then, ghosts and Halloween costumes appear in August, followed shortly by red and green baubles.

There’s nothing we can do to stop this revolving-door (or is it a revolving shelf?) marketing syndrome. Merchants want to make as much profit as possible. And the more often we see or hear about a product, the more likely we are to buy it. If we would all wait until the day before a holiday to make our purchases, maybe vendors would wait to display those wares. Eh, maybe not.

Seeing decorations long before a holiday gives us the opportunity to anticipate the upcoming event. Have you ever thought how boring life would be without anticipation? Looking forward to something is half the fun, whether a holiday, a party, or even a birthday.

Plan Ahead

A friend once told me that he and his siblings were planning a surprise party for their mother’s 80th birthday. It sounded like fun – having all of Mom’s old friends and distant relatives come to town to surprise her.

Fun, that is, until I asked how much time his mother would be able to spend with all her friends and relatives. Two hours together in one room wouldn’t give her the chance to enjoy each guest and have one-on-one memory time.

I suggested instead that he include her in the planning and inviting, to let her anticipate the event and be sure they included everyone she’d like. Then, they could schedule other activities a day or two before and after the big event, giving Mom a chance to relax and visit with her guests.

He followed my suggestion and expanded her celebration to allow more time to relish the holiday and create more memories. His mom was so grateful that she got to visit with everyone, creating memories and taking pictures.

Anticipation made the difference.

Anticipation is one reason we see decorations before a holiday. Storekeepers want us to look forward to a holiday and spend more money on their products.

Christmas and baseball, the ultimate mix
Christmas and baseball, the ultimate mix

Personally, I always put my Christmas tree and other decorations up on Thanksgiving or before and leave them up until Valentine’s Day, sometimes later. Not only do I enjoy them longer than just one day, but I also love how festive my house looks.

In fact, I’ve been known to leave a Christmas tree up for several years when it wasn’t in the way, providing a soft light to the room. My sons thanked me for having a tree in the family room for four years, although my husband wasn’t crazy about it. They liked the lights in the corner while they watched TV.

Celebrate Broncos football!

I even have some ornaments for other holidays: an Easter egg, a jack-o-lantern, a turkey, and red hearts. Plus, I have a Colorado Rockies snowman and a lighted Denver Bronco.

So when you see Christmas decorations on sale at your local chain store, don’t roll your eyes and heave a sigh. Instead, smile and give yourself the pleasure of anticipation.

Think about it, don’t complain about it

Think about what the coming holiday will mean to you and your family: all the memories you will make, traditions you’ll enjoy, and what you can do different this year. Then, check out the merchandise to see if you can make someone else’s dream come true this holiday. After all, Christmas is about giving, which you could do every day of the year.

And if you start early, you can take your time decorating and get in on all the sales, which could reduce your stress. It’s a win-win – enjoyment and lower stress.

Even though it’s only September, let me be the first to say, “Merry Christmas!”