Kensington, MD, November 16, 2011–So here’s the thing: I’m already suffering from Christmas fatigue.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. And Hannukah, Kwanza, the Solstice, New Year’s and any other holiday that you can name that’s about celebrating light and hope at the darkest time of the year. I love the music, I love the twinkly lights, I love the many opportunities to take my son to see model trains that the holiday season presents. Love, love, love it all.
That is, I love it beginning at the moment that Santa Claus appears at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. I do not love it a moment before that.
As I type these faintly Grinch-y words, it’s still more than a week before Thanksgiving but I’ve been seeing Christmas stuff on the shelves at my nearby Target for two months. Yep. You read that right. Holiday lawn decorations were available starting in September. Kids were still going to school in shorts and Target wanted me to buy artificial fir trees made of lights for my yard.
Sidebar: you know what hasn’t been for sale? Thanksgiving stuff. I hit a craft store last week hoping to find some turkey stickers and stuff like that for my son to make Thanksgiving decorations for the house. I found nothing turkey-oriented. It was all Christmas stuff, much to the consternation of my three-year-old who had been under the impression that Thanksgiving was coming soon but Christmas is a long time away.
Apart from that ill-advised trip to the craft store, I’ve spent the entire month of November avoiding taking my little boy to any store at all because I don’t want to deal with the fallout of two solid months of escalating commercial cheer. Never mind the questionable wisdom of turning the month of November into a full-on retail assault aimed at profit maximization rather than about holiday that is ostensibly about loved ones and gratitude.
No, what I don’t want to deal with is trying to explain the concept of “too soon” to my temporally-challenged child. I’m talking about a kid whose idea of time consists of right now, tomorrow, and last week. He will tell you that all kinds of things happened last week including our summer vacation, yesterday’s breakfast, and his birth. He honestly believes that the longest measure of time known to man is five minutes.
You can see how it might be difficult to clearly explain to such a young child that Christmas is really a month and a half away and that he shouldn’t let the wreaths and Santa pavilions fool him.
I also don’t want him to become immune to the charms of the holiday season through overexposure. December is a special month when everyone makes a little extra effort to put some light and joy behind their actions and words. I want him to be able to appreciate that and not take the season for granted because he’s already been trolling the carols and decking the halls for weeks on end. The special-ness of the holidays is their rarity. Adding a month doesn’t necessarily add to that. It might just make the season longer, not better.
The thing is, I want to celebrate the holidays with my family. I do. But I want to do it at the appropriate time, not on some retail calendar.
Rebekah is a DC-area mom with an over-developed sense of irreverence, socialist tendencies, ADD, and a blog. She recently quit her non-profit sector job to pursue her dream of not working. She now spends her time answering her 3-year-old son’s questions and ranting at her blog Mom-in-a-Million, talking about life as a DC Mom at The DC Moms and sharing her political views at The Broad Side. You can find her on Twitter at MomIn_AMillion.
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