Seasonal Creep

I used to object to lights and trees that went up before December 10. Then I decided it was okay after December 1. Now if people wait until after Thanksgiving (even if it’s the morning after) I can handle it.

oliverantahatEvery year there is some new challenge to my sense of when Christmas celebrations should start. Carols belch from tinny overhead speakers as I shop for a Thanksgiving turkey. Lights drap across trees in early November.

Last weekend I overheard yet another example of seasonal creep: apparently, parents can now count on photos with the mall Santa anytime after November 15! That’s a full 40 days (and 40 nights) before the actual holiday, time enough to fit in a flood of biblical proportions.

Maybe this extended holiday season isn’t a bad thing. What a blessing to give ourselves a few extra days or weeks to sit back, reflect, take stock–maybe even fit in some old-fashioned social interaction.

(What? That’s not what this longer shopping, er, I mean holiday, season is all about?)

In every other aspect of our lives, time frames have shortened. It takes less time to communicate, receive packages, close deals. So why do we need an extra two or three weeks to get ready for Christmas?

I’m not usually paranoid, but I’m beginning to wonder if the Christmas elves are in league with the NBA. Their season seems to get longer every year too. Maybe by 2015 the first Christmas lights will be up before the NBA finals are complete. Then the basketball-loving elves, knowing they’ve achieved their ultimate goal, will be able to take off a year or two, to celebrate.

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