One Holiday At A Time

I was out at the mall today trying to get a head start on my Christmas shopping. Now, before I say another word, I must admit that I LOVE Christmas. As a child, I used to play Christmas music in July because I was so anxious for it to arrive. I had to get myself in the mood for Christmas because back then, there were no “Christmas in July” sales and the like. We, as a culture, got through one holiday at a time. Shocking, but true.

Now, you can spot trees, tinsel and the usual suspects practically after Labor Day and it’s a full-on assault as soon as Halloween is over. The reason Christmas is pushed on us earlier and earlier each year comes down to one thing: money. Retailers need to extend the shopping season for as long as possible, especially during these challenging economic times. I don’t blame them. They are businesses doing what they need to do for their bottom line. I get that.

However, it does make me nostalgic for my childhood and how the anticipation for Christmas built and became official the day after Thanksgiving. With this in mind, there is one retailer out there who is keeping a pledge to not start hyping Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This retailer is Nordstrom. Here’s a sign that is adorning their stores nationwide:

Apparently, this has been a long-standing policy but I guess I haven’t been in Nordstrom this close to Thanksgiving before. I applaud them for this and I’d love to shop there more often, but funds are a bit tighter this year. Nevertheless, I think Nordstrom’s stance can serve as a good reminder for us all to slow down, not race through our lives and wish it away. The present moment is all we have and we need to embrace it. I’m speaking as much to myself as I am to you when I say this.

There is nothing wrong with being an early, organized shopper, getting your Christmas tree up Thanksgiving weekend, or beginning to watch your collection of Christmas-themed DVDs. I am one of these people and I plan on staying that way. I will do all of these things and enjoy them immensely. I just want to take time out to be mindful and thankful first before visions of sugarplums start dancing in my head.

10 thoughts on “One Holiday At A Time

  1. Wouldn’t it, ffig? I really feel for all of you parents out there. Kids and parents are bombarded 24/7 from September on about Christmas. Very stressful.

  2. Not to knock Christmas, but I also get tired of having the holiday forced down our throats before we even celebrate Thanksgiving. In addition to retail stores, there are also radio stations that switch to playing non-stop Christmas music starting in mid-November. It used to be that the Christmas music wouldn’t start until after Thanksgiving, and the 24 hours of it would only take place on Christmas Eve-Christmas Day. Then there are the stores that have the Christmas muzak playing all day as well.

    I don’t know. I think now that I’ve become an adult (chronologically if not emotionally) and know the hassle of the shopping season, I’ve become more of a Scrooge.

  3. In the UK when I was growing up – 1960s – we had Bonfire Night on 5th November and only after that would people turn their attention towards Christmas – it certainly helped to create a sense of anticipation. Nowadays it is all about consumerism and money – hollow and shallow.

  4. Hey JL!

    We have a radio station like that as well. Again, I adore Christmas and Christmas music but 24/7 for a good month and a half before Christmas grates on even my nerves.

    I don’t have that many people to shop for, mainly just my mother & a few friends and relatives so it’s not bad. I enjoy finding something that I think each person will enjoy, even if it’s just a giftcard to a store they like. But, I can see how easy it is to feel like Scrooge.

  5. Hi Steve,

    November 5th. Guy Fawkes, correct? It’s amazing how the elongation of the season has happened just since we were kids in the 60s and 70s, isn’t it?

    We really do have to fight against the shallow and the hollow overshadowing the good things about the season. Not an easy task.

  6. Kelly, it’s not so much the shopping, as I usually only buy something for my mom for Christmas each year, but it’s things like the holiday traffic, and if there’s snow, that makes things worse. As a kid it was easy to not deal with those things because I didn’t have responsibilities. But now, having to deal with a job and then traveling to see family, it gets stressful and instead of being happy for the season, it’s something where I look forward to it being over.

  7. All the traffic, weather & crowds do make it awful. That’s the main reason why I start so early and do more shopping online. I’m lucky that I don’t have to travel. My family is all here. My Christmas Day drive is all of 10 minutes or so. I can’t complain.

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