I've heard a lot of friends and observed others complaining that Christmas comes on quite fast. There's an argument about the holiday's commercialism vs. the real reason for the season. Well, when I start hearing the Christmas music on the radio the day after Halloween, I don't think that it's that omnipotent being that controls stores' holiday sales forcing it. For me, it's that feeling of overwhelming love and peacefulness and good will that overtakes you on Christmas that is so powerful that it wants to be felt for more than just one day. I always thought that if, for some reason, I was a hermit, I'd still somehow "know" when Christmas Day arrived. There's just something different about the day. It's bigger than us.
So, I can't complain when it starts spilling over elsewhere. The spirit of Christmas can be found on Thanksgiving; really, they're both rooted in the same theme. It's about love. It's about finding the selflessness and humility within oneself. It's about family. So, ultimately, aren't they both grateful holidays? I'm thinking this is why society (or the higher-ups at Best Buy and JCPenney) have pushed Christmas into November...and October, at times.
This year, I'm trying something a little different for my loved ones as far as presents go. There are certain people that I'll be shopping regularly for: the hubs (I'm his #1 giver now, plus I have to be in cahoots with Santa to make sure that my guy gets what he deserves -- and he deserves lots for putting up with me!), my Secret Santa relative (my mom pulls names for each of us so that we don't have to buy for 5 siblings), my niece and nephew ('cuz they deserve it and Christmas means so much more when kids are involved), and pitching in for parents (who's more important than parents?!?!).
However, I'm trying to give a more thoughtful gift for those who mean a lot to both Dave and I, so there's lots of hands-on DIYing in store. I'll provide some hints as we get closer to the big day, but since I know that some of these well-loved gift recipients are reading. *waves* Hi, guys! Too bad, you'll have to wait to see what you get. :-)
This doesn't mean that I'm not taking part in one of the fun aspects of the holiday season. While you may cry "Commercialism! Gross over-spending!! How dare you support this?!" I see it more as a morning of fun with my best friend. My sister, Mary, and I have a little tradition of attacking the early morning Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving. Her husband and his brother go after the possible-blood-spilling, sharp-elbows-needed finds (generally electronics), and we're grateful for that! In the meantime, Mary and I look at our well-organized lists (created Thanksgiving evening, spilling over the ads which we already have memorized, thanks to the online updates) and determine what we need to get and where. We create a schedule and take along coffee or cocoa to keep the line-waiting bearable. There have been years that we sang carols in line -- I recall 50% dirty looks and 50% smiles (and even joining in!) while flakes of white fluttered down. We don't fight with folks, we're cheery and have grins from ear to ear. It's an awesome way to start off the true Christmas season, and I figure that when, one day, we have kiddies to buy for, it'll still be an important tradition. This year, I don't have as much to buy, so once we're done with our early shopping, we're going to do some Christmas decor shopping for ourselves at Hobby Lobby. So can't wait!
So, what're you all doing for the holiday season? Are you excited that it's upon us, or does it depress you like it does so many others?