Chloe's Halloween costume still lays on the floor at home. There are still sparkles in her hair from the night before. The candy has barely been touched, and our Jack-o-lantern is still fresh, other than a black mark on the inside of his lid from his candle. It's a cool, crisp fall afternoon and we need to run to Walmart.
While other moms are devouring the 1/2 price candy aisle, and stocking up on costumes for their little cuties, I find my cart veering toward the lawn and garden area. I pretend I'm just getting my toothpaste and shampoo, but the cart and I are of one mind. We both know where we're headed.
As I push it closer, I can see the glow of twinkle lights, the green Christmas trees (and pink, and white), and I can hear the familiar sound of Christmas tunes disappearing into the high ceiling. Is it me, or is it a few degrees cooler back here?
My eyes light up like a little kid who is seeing Santa for the first time. My heart feels warm, and I can't help but smile. The smell of cinnamon permeates the air. I begin slowly trekking down each aisle, admiring the ornaments, all organized by color, thinking about the tree skirt I'd like to have, and looking at new wrapping paper.
I begin thinking about the hustle and bustle of December, and how in just a month it will be time to drag up the totes and boxes and start making the house festive. It's officially the holiday season for me. The "holiday season" being, in my mind, the time from November 1st to January 1st, which encompasses Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. A time of festivities, food, family, and friends.
For the first few weeks I keep out my pumpkin spice candles and my fall leaves and pumpkins. But, let's face it, those have been out since before Halloween, so it's not like they're new to the living room. But as soon as Halloween is over, I love beginning the process of getting "in the spirit." It's a time to anticipate the holidays, a time to start planning my gift-giving (aka SHOPPING TRIPS!), and a time to think about how to make my house all cozy for the next couple of months.
I don't buy anything. I don't go home and drag out my Christmas lights. Although, on a cold November day you might find me with my Christmas playlist at full volume. I merely begin anticipating my favorite time of the year.
Then I wake up and read a Facebook status like this: "Come on, people. It's November. We haven't had Thanksgiving yet. It's not time for Christmas!" Or "OMG Christmas stuff already? RIDICULOUS!"
To that, I say, let me have my Christmas spirit! Let me be excited and anticipate the coming holidays. It's the best time of the year for me! Don't you pull out your shorts or your fishing pole on the first warm March day? I bet so. Don't you plan your New Year party before Christmas has come and gone? And do you start shopping for summer clothes and tank tops before the 1st of June? I mean, it's not REALLY summer until June 21st, right?
Maybe it IS a little early to be decking the halls on November 1st, but for people like me, it's exciting.
Walmart gets it. They're just catering to the holiday junkies like myself.
If you don't want to start early, don't. Stay out of the Christmas area. And if you're bombarded with it beyond your control, just think to yourself, "It's too early for me, but I bet Andrea would enjoy this..."
But don't berate me for enjoying this time of year to the fullest. And I won't call YOU a Grinch. Or Ebenezer. Or Scroogy McScrooge.