Yesterday, while on my Starbucks break between schools, a prematurely festive thing occurred: I got my mocha in one of those red, snowflake-emblazoned holiday cups. That's right, it was just five days into November--when leftover Halloween candy is still lying around most houses--and someone's using the Christmas stuff already!
I know we can blame the retail industry for this apparent seamlessness of the fall holidays; I guess they can't stand to not be celebrating something (granted, there aren't too many Veterans Day decorations, though it could certainly be argued that we should make a bigger deal out of that holiday than we do). Halloween candy goes on the shelves right after Labor Day, and the Christmas decorations follow hot on the heels of Halloween. I saw a few houses with those orange Halloween lights up last week; I wonder how many of them change out the bulbs for Christmas ones in a few weeks, and I wonder how many people use Halloween as an excuse for leaving the light strings up all year.
It seems like it was simpler when I was a kid; in Houston, the Foley's Thanksgiving Day Parade marked the beginning of the Christmas season. Santa was the last float in the parade, and when he got to Foley's, he climbed out of his sleigh and into an upstairs entrance to the store. You'd never see a Christmas advertisement before that weekend. But now, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has their trees out already, as if Thanksgiving is being totally bypassed. (OK, I did see a huge inflatable turkey in someone's front yard today.)
Part of me says, ehh, it's a sign of the times. The other part of me wants to mildly panic, because I'm not even sure where I'm going for Thanksgiving this year (I'm assuming Mom and Dad's; it just depends on how Dad is doing in recovering from his hip replacement, I suppose), so how can it be almost Christmas? I think this happens to busy folks like me--the holidays can just sneak up on you sometimes.
But one thing is for sure: if I hear "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" in any retail establishment before the end of this month, I think I'll scream.