Something traumatic happened to me on the first of November. I was minding my own business, casually noshing on a leftover piece of Halloween candy, when I innocently switched on the radio in my car.
And that’s when it happened. Christmas music burst forth, aggressively invading my car with utterly unwelcome tidings of comfort and joy.
It’s not that glad tidings are unwelcome, mind you. I am always happy to be on the receiving end of glad tidings. But the realization that not one but two of my regular radio stations had converted to All Christmas All the Time when the vampires of Halloween had not even settled back into their coffins? That struck me as totally uncalled for.
I love Christmas. I really do. It is easily the most magical time of the year. I cheerfully bedeck my home in twinkling lights, add small trees and snowmen to every available flat surface, and dutifully purchase matching holiday pajamas for the entire family each year. Christmas is amazing. I’m just not ready for it in early November. Or mid-October. Or late August. Seriously, Hobby Lobby. August?!?
In my professional life, Christmas comes early and there’s no avoiding that reality. Working in marketing means that you are always thinking many months ahead. I was planning holiday workshops in July and have been actively promoting them since early October. I have a meeting next week to talk about summer camps.
In order to be ready for the holiday season, we decorated the Arts Center the first week of November, complete with two giant Christmas trees and hundreds of sparkling ornaments suspended from the ceiling. It looks gorgeous, but as for me and my living room, we have pumpkins and rust-colored mums, thank you very much.
I saw a great cartoon the other day in which a turkey was emphatically pushing Jolly Old St. Nicholas out of the frame, yelling “not yet, Fat Boy!” There is a time for widespread Christmas décor and that time is Thanksgiving weekend.
Yes. You caught me. For all my bluster, I am not actually a Christmas purist. I do not, in fact, wait until the first of December to install my holiday home décor. For me, the Thanksgiving holiday is exactly the right moment to get out my tree and start belting out Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
Now, it might seem silly to quibble over a few short weeks. November 1st versus the 23rd. What’s the big deal? But those are an important three weeks, friends. Particularly in Kentucky, those fleeting days are the heart of fall. The leaves are gorgeous, the weather is often mild, and the apple cider is plentiful. Sure it gets dark at 4:30pm but that just means you need to make the most of the afternoon sunlight while it’s there to be enjoyed.
In early November, I encourage you to rake a big pile of leaves and jump in it, even if you don’t have kids. Dogs are known to be good leaf-jumping companions – and your neighbors might be willing to join you if you asked nicely. Make one last trip to the apple orchard. Go for a hike with friends. Sit on your porch with a blanket around your shoulders and a cup of tea in your hands and breathe in the smell of fall. Take a moment to give thanks for life, liberty, and the pursuit of pumpkin pie.
Then, by all means, haul out the holly and dive headlong into Christmas. If you need me this weekend, I’ll be decorating my tree. It’s time!