Christmas is 10 weeks from today. The stores are already stocked and I saw an ad on TV promoting layaway for Christmas shopping. Like a child, I still get excited at the thought of the upcoming holiday season.  When I walked through a store yesterday and saw the TV ad, the old feelings came over me and I wanted more.  It’s a great feeling.  But is it too soon?

I’m not alone when I say that I love the Christmas season: the songs, the decorations, the movies and TV specials, the parties, gifts, making cookies, and being with family and friends. In just about three weeks, some radio stations will begin to play Christmas music – for the past few years, they started the first week of November.  A jolt of joy hits me when I hear the songs and I will listen with glee, singing along with the old favorites. Then by the first of December, the novelty has worn off and I’m tired of the songs. The anticipation was gone and Christmas was still weeks away!  When Christmas arrived, it wasn’t special.

When I was a small child, my parents held to the tradition that no decorations were put up until Christmas Eve after the kids had gone to bed. My parents stayed up all night putting up the tree, wrapping gifts and decorating. We could hardly contain ourselves from the anticipation.  We awoke on Christmas morning to see the wonder of Christmas. It was magical and memorable (but tough on the parents!). We enjoyed the tree, the songs, the gifts and decorations for the two weeks after Christmas, up until the Epiphany on January 6. I loved those times and cherish the memories.

Anticipation has been lost in our society. The thought of getting something makes the experience much more gratifying.  I think that savoring the sweet anticipation of Christmas can apply to other areas of our lives: wait a while before buying the lastest gadget or tech device or special outfit, and even for sex with a new partner.  Remember the feelings of longing before a first kiss? Yum!!  Our society has evolved to instant gratification, partly because of our (previously) thriving economy and partly because of the genius of marketers who understand the psychology of human desire. Is it possible that instant gratification has led to boredom in our lives? When we always get what we want right away, it leaves us wanting more. And it takes that much more to satisfy us.

My house is currently decorated with pumpkins and mums and the scent of apple cinnamon candles fills the house. I love the way it looks but after “feeling Christmas” yesterday, my thoughts drift to changing my candles to pine and replacing the mums with poinsettias.  Stop, I say!  Enjoy now! I want to enjoy the moments of the fall season, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I take a vow to you, my readers. I will enjoy one season, one holiday at a time. I won’t switch my candles to Christmas Wreath Pine nor will I listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. And when the ABC Family Channel shows Christmas movies during their “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas,” I will record them and watch them in December as Christmas draws near. (Any bets that one of these years, we’ll be seeing Countdown to 25 Days to 25 Days to 25 Days of Christmas in September?!)  I’m sending an email to the ABC Family Channel – bring back Christmas shows and movies in December!  What do Mary Poppins and Harry Potter have to do with Christmas??

Does anyone else know what I mean? Are you willing to delay Christmas until at least the day after Thanksgiving?

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