Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Is It Too Early?

You'd have to be living in an isolated cave somewhere to not notice that Santa is already in some shopping malls, lights are being hung, ornaments are festively being put on display, and sales are already happening. Is it too soon? This is and always has been a controversial subject for many this time of year. There are valid arguments on both sides. Some don't want to feel rushed and quickly feel stressed that they won't be ready in time. They will argue that they don't want to hear Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving; very valid points. Others LOVE the Christmas season and simply cannot wait for it to get started. I would venture to say that I am some where in the middle, but leaning more toward the tinsel side.

While I do enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday; a wonderful meal, football, and time with family and friends ... I am a multi-tasker and can enjoy Thanksgiving Day and still get a little pumped about the Christmas season. I look forward to the decorations, the lights, the Hallmark movies (which I am already watching), the store displays, shopping for those special well thought-out gifts, wrapping, and even sending out Christmas cards. The month of December goes by so quickly as it is that I don't mind stretching it out a little longer. My theory is that if I get started earlier in November then hopefully I won't spend my December feeling as anxious. The sooner I check things off my proverbial 'list', the more time I will have to take walks in downtown Rochester to see the light show, meet a friend for hot chocolate, or curl up with a cozy blanket to watch a Christmas movie.

During the last 10 days our country has endured a controversial presidential election, Facebook has served as a sounding board for hatred and meanness, and my family suffered the loss of a great woman. Needless to say my emotions (as well as many other people's) have been on an unpleasant roller coaster ride. Next week we will gather once again for Thanksgiving and be thankful indeed ... for family, for good health, for having food on our tables, a roof over over our heads, and abundant love in our hearts. At the same time I will look forward to the future with hope and anticipation; a hope for a more peaceful world and anticipation that people can learn to unite for the common good.

For many, Christmas is a season filled with hope and love and goodness. That is something I can wrap my head and my heart around. If I could start celebrating it in July or September or any other month I probably would. It's not about the gifts or the material things (my shopping list actually gets smaller every year), it is about the spirit and the hope.

So is it too early to be decorating, or looking at lights, or buying Christmas cards, or listening to holiday music that makes you smile? I say no, but that's just me. Sure, I will have my days when I feel a bit overwhelmed and anxious, but truth be told that also happens in February and April too, lol. 

The holidays (any of them) are what we choose to make of them. Yes, department stores will continue to set up displays earlier and earlier ... but so what. If it bothers you, then do your best to avoid it or simply don't let it get to you. But don't be a scrooge to those who look forward to it. Many people are lonely or sad or simply looking for more positiveness in their world. If they can find it in a store display or by looking at the twinkling lights on the trees, let them. It doesn't mean you have to hang a wreath on your door or a stocking on your mantle just yet. You can wait til the time is right for you.

I hope that all of us can embrace the goodness of the Christmas season, as well as be thankful for our blessings (but we can be thankful EVERY day - not just on the fourth Thursday of November).

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