I was in Walmart yesterday with my wife and we were walking down the aisle to get garbage bags when something beautiful caught my attention. It was a box of those butter cookies that aren’t really that good, but they come in that little blue can with a Christmasy scene on the front, so I can’t not get it. I buy these tins of cookies for the same reason I buy the big, metallic cans of popcorn, not for the contents inside, the popcorn usually goes stale, but because of the happiness I feel from looking at the simple image that is holiday themed on the packaging. As I stood in the garbage bag/christmas candy aisle trying to decide whether I wanted the tin with the snowy house or the one covered with happy people ice skating on a bright winter’s day, when I finally came to my senses and realized I couldn’t get the cookies. I had quite a few rules I had to abide by growing up, as I’m sure a lot of kids do and one of them, perhaps the most important of all was not being allowed to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I may not live with parental restrictions and rules anymore but that one has stuck with me and since Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, I put the cookies back and glumly went to join my wife looking at boring trash bags.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. I think that’s why I love when the time changes and it starts getting dark early, because that means Christmas is getting close. I love everything about it, and even though I’m well past the age of excitement for Santa Claus, and it took some time for Christmas to regain the magic, I once again have the childlike feeling of happiness and hope that made the holiday so special for all those years. To keep the integrity and special feeling that Christmas brings, I find my mom’s rule about waiting until after Thanksgiving to start celebrating, completely necessary. It’s tough, don’t get me wrong, every time I walk into the store the cardboard elf is smiling up at me and letting me know how many more days we have until Christmas, which right now is too astronomically high to even justify counting down, and christmas trees and decorations are all over the place. I can’t even go to work without Christmas being thrown in my face because the park I work at has a huge light display that people drive through every year, and that is already set up. I’m going to the zoo today and their Christmas lights and tree, and ice skating rink, will be set up already too. It’s like the whole world wants to start celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier each year, but by doing so it loses some of it’s magic.
It’s not like I’m being a scrooge, yelling bah humbug at all of the happy people I see, but I’m just standing up for my values by not taking part in all of the excitement just yet. If you wait until after Thanksgiving that still gives you 31 days until Christmas. That’s a full month of decorations and lights on your house, indulging in holiday treats, listening to christmas music, watching holiday movies, and just altogether being in a much better mood than you are during the other eleven months. Keeping a restriction on how long to allow yourself the joy’s of Christmas is absolutely integral to your overall enjoyment. Too much of something, even of a good thing, will end up losing it’s appeal over time, so do yourself a favor and keep the magic of Christmas alive in your life by waiting until after Thanksgiving before allowing yourself to indulge in holiday festivities.