Thursday, November 6, 2008

What to do when one Holiday bleeds into another

We just finished up with Halloween and my Jack'o'lanterns are still sitting firmly in place, refusing to be moved as though I was going to kick them out. Well, I do have plans to move them to their new home, the compost bins. But I'm keeping that to myself for the time being. In September, when I was looking for two likely fellows who'd like to be decorations by the pond, we went to Lowe's. I wandered around in the gardening area for a few minutes. Okay, for an hour but you know this is when they've allowed everything to get to the near death experience. This is when you get some great plants for cheap, all you have to do is nurse them back to health. Would you believe I got three Clematis plants for fifty cents each? So anyway, after I had finished loading my buggy with all the things that looked like they might have a fairly good chance of making it in my Intensive Care Unit , Mac and I went inside. I actually stopped in my tracks, my mouth hanging open like a fish out of water. On one side was a Halloween section, on the other they were putting up Christmas trees. And decorating them. On September 10th. I grabbed Mac's arm and said in a whisper (yeah yeah, you were there, I shouted it out) "OH MY GOD. HAVE THEY LOST THEIR MINDS?" It appears they had not, because the next store we went to, WalMart, was doing the very same thing. Look, if they changed the name to Super WalMart, doesn't that mean they should keep at least a few garden supplies front and center, rather than shoved up against fences and walls so you have to get Indiana Jones to find the lost treasures? Every aisle in the garden section was filled with Christmas ornaments and trees and lights, cards and snow globes, giant air filled Claus's and Snowmen...even one with carollers held prisoner inside. When you went through the double doors to go inside the rest of the store, that's where we found Halloween.

Now normally I don't begin decorating for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. It's just how we have always done it. Christmas seems to go by so fast and it's hard work decorating...you have to take down other decorations and box them up so you can put the sparkly stuff up. The day after Thanksgiving gives you a good six weeks of respite before the tear down has to begin on January 8th. These is no particular reason I take the Christmas gaudery down on Elvis's birthday. It's just coincidence. The day before is my birthday and I refuse to work that hard then. See? So yesterday, I notice that the neighbors in front of us already have their deer out on the lawn. And their two lighted palm trees...oh come on now, lighted palm trees this close to the North Carolina line? Are you KIDDING me? It always gave us a good laugh when we came down our drive to see those tropic island runaways blinking on and off whenever we came home, so I guess they serve a purpose. Then late yesterday evening, Mac came in and said "you're not going to believe this. Junior (neighbor's son) is up on the roof hanging lights." Because, as he said, I wasn't going to believe it, I went outside so that I could see for myself. I had to walk up to the treeline, but yes, there he was. And doing a bang up job of it, too. I swear the thought ran through my mind, how much will he want for pay to do ours. It just sneaked in there. Like a thief.

This morning I wandered around in the living room sizing up the dust catchers (that's what Mac calls them) and wondering how many boxes I was going to need. Then I went out to my shed. (yes I have a shed of my own...don't know why half of it is filled with Mac's crap.) I was pretty sure I knew which box it was in. The one thing that spells "time to decorate." I was looking for my horse shoe. The one from the horse that ran in the money at a Melbourne Cup Race in Australia. My sweetest friend, Jenny, sent it to me and I treasure it. It'll be the first thing to go up, just like last year. I once had a horseshoe from a horse that ran in the money at a Steeplechase in England. My sweet friend Bubbles (West End actress Violet Loxley) had given it to me. It never made it home, it was in one of the many boxes "misplaced" by the movers. So, there I am, digging in the shed and Mac comes up behind me (nearly giving me a heart attack). "What are you looking for?" My head jerked up and I turned to look at him, defiance in every muscle. "I'm looking for my Horseshoe." He shook his head in disbelief. "Oh no, you're not! It's only the first week in November!" You know I used to be able to say "I pouted prettily" but these days its more of a scowl...but anyway, I found it. Is it hanging over the door yet? Well, we compromised. I promised not to hang it till November 15th and he promised to stop shaking his head in disbelief.

42 comments:

Moannie said...

Good grief! I've not bought one present, not made the cake,or the mincemeat. 29 days to go...what the...and Tesco and Sainsbury have aisles of Christmas goodies. Children are talking abut maybe not being here, road trip in the USA instead...just us two old Codgers together for the holidays, as if we are not glued at the hip 24/7...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Epijunky said...

It never ceases to amaze me when I stumble across Christmas in September...

One of the local radio station switched to all Christmas music on Monday. That will continue until December 26th.

I love the season, but it seems like it's starting earlier and earlier each year.

Jeni said...

"Guadery" huh? Now there's a word I liked. Why, I really don't know but like it, I did!
Although I don't see it here now -on my reader, right below this post was the story you did for Jeff's thing -whatever it's called "Portrait of Words" right? Anyway, I wanted to tell you before I forget to do this, I loved that story. Very good piece, Sandi. Why don't you submit it to some magazines, or something -would make an excellent short story, really it would! Keep writing, my friend!

windycorner said...

Christmas decorations are everywhere! The big thing here is lots of light displays and they are so elaborate that people have to start putting them up months before Christmas. My vote is for a tree decorated on Dec. 24 and that's it!

Shrinky said...

Oh Gawwwwd, now I'm thoroughly depressed. Sigh. I need to start some serious shopping, and my heart is soooo not into it.

I moan every year about how commercialised Christmas has become, then dive in with the rest of them to buy up half of London.

I'm not such a grouch on the day, it's just the build up I hate, hate, hate! (And it's my birthday, too..)

Sigh.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like the post a lot and the horse shoe is so neat. Thanks too for visiting.

Akelamalu said...

I just realised it's only 7 weeks to Christmas! I have to get cracking on my shopping! :(

ancient one said...

Too Soon... much too soon... I can only think of one thing at a time...

Merisi said...

Always good to get ahead of the masses. Hm? Was that meant to include Christmas decorations? Anyway, I am way out of all that, what with this endless Indian Summer keeping us in T-shirts, and the wish to linger one more coffee long in the sun streteching into one long row of coffee after coffee after coffee. Who has time to think of ..... Christmas? Wait! I could start writing Christmas cards while sitting pretty outside slurping coffee! It may be the year I actually get to write them, after all. ;-)

Maggie May said...

I can't get my head around Christmas yet.I am way behind this year and I think everything will be a last minute rush in this house. Had too many things to think about.
I don't like to see the shops filled with Christmas stuff in september anyway.

Expat mum said...

I must admit I am itching to get the Xmas stuff out. I won't be doing anything till about December 5th though. I don't think I could put up with the constant sarcasm from the hubby if I did it any earlier. Instead, I am buying a "little something" almost every time I go out. Lord knows where I'm going to put it all.

Sally said...

It's good that you and Mac can compromise in a good spirit. I tried to avoid the decorations yesterday when I was out; way too soon for me but then I'm a last minute person. :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Well I am switched on enough to know I have to get some shopping done but when I was discussing with my DD the other night when we might go together I suddenly realised there are not that many weekends left to choose from! OMG - time to get my act together - cakes and puddings to make as well! Love doing that though. And have already decided I will start decorating the house at the beginning of December. Where does the time go?

A x

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Christmas already? No...can't cope with the idea right now! I'll come back and read this post in a month's time! Like the horseshoe though.... :)

Carol said...

Hehehe..well I think that with all the bad news that is everywhere we just have have something to brighten the place up! I have not taken down the Halloweem dec's yet and we were talking about our christams dec's this afternoon!
Hugs, kisses and little licks from us!
Carol xx

Jeanne said...

It does seem like the stores start putting out Christmas earlier and earlier. Now I'm a big Christmas fan and do try to get my shopping done early but the official start of the season for me is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I think that it's crazy that Christmas things are out in September.......I think we have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

Gill in Canada

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I know what you mean about the stores...but I remember as a child the same thing happening and I am almost 55...We had a hard, fast rule in our house. No Christmas decorating or Christmas music until the day AFTER Thanksgiving. I am still that way, but I do look and plan now. I might even buy something. I just won't decorate with it until the day after turkey day.
Hugs,
Penny

Lavinia said...

Hi! I've given you an award over at the birdbath....

david mcmahon said...

I see the horseshoe thath you told me about, Sandi .....

but I'd love to see a post telling the story of the comment you just left on my PSF post!!

Pam said...

I noticed the same thing Sandi, it seems to be earlier each year and it's almost like a forcing of the holiday down our throats. ugh. Someone said today that Thanksgiving is three weeks away and Christmas is 48 days. 48 DAYS!

justabeachkat said...

Good Golly Miss Molly, Christmas is a-coming....FAST!

Hugs!
Kat

(Come visit me...I have a double dog dare for you)

jazzi said...

No, I'm just not there yet. My sister did call me on the way south from Chicago and tell me she found a radio station in St. Louis that's playing all Christmas songs, and that was the week before Halloween!!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Might as well just keep it up the whole year the way things are getting pushed back so ar!

I came over again to congrats on your shoutout over at David's POD :-)

i beati said...

First I love the horshoe, secondly at Thanksgiving , I stop and really slow down and no matter what gets done or doesn't prepare my heart for the birth of a Baby that will save the world. Despite the hub bub of the world, that's what I do. I make my gifts mostly except my son's family's request and voila. I await that child. It's some trigger in my brain at Thanksgiving that says slow down and savor it all!!!

Lee said...

Congratulations on making David's Post of the Day list, Sandi! This is a great post.

I was stunned by how early they shoved Christmas at us too. My guess is that they expect things to get really hard for everyone and wanted to give people a longer shopping season and also insure themselves a better chance to make a decent profit, which might not happen this year, or the next.

Please remind me, when the time comes, that if I cannot go down to the Valley to see my folks I intend to resurrect my old singles holiday dinner of Cornish game hen, stuffing, some kind of nice veggie, and cranberry sauce.

What are you doing for Turkey Day dinner?

Hugs!
Lee

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

My friend Lori, at All About Home, held out as long as she could before doing the shop up for Christmas. All the big box stores were decorated and customers were coming into Lori's shop asking her if she was going to decorate for Christmas or what. So we all got together and decorated, last month...all except the front section of the store.

I haven't officially put anything out yet...but I have a project going for the dining room. I'll probably finish it next week. And then there is no stopping us!

Love your horse shoe!

Cheffie-Mom said...

I love this time of year! Christmas decorations in September remind me that I need to start shopping. And compromise - so important.(:

RiverPoet said...

My Christmas shopping is almost done, but I'm not sure how much decorating I'm going to do. Like you, I can't believe how early things are starting. It's taken the fun and special-ness out of the decorations for me. It's still rather warm here (70 degrees today in MD), not exactly Christmasy.

Peace - D

CrazyCath said...

Fabulous post. The shops just go mad. Mad mad mad.

*sigh*

Congrats on POTD. (I got here, Eventually.)

Jamie Dawn said...

Yep, you are right.
I went grocery shopping a few days ago in Walmart, and Christmas music was playing!!!
Not only were we surrounded by Halloween, Thanksgiving/Autumn, and Christmas stuff all at once, but the Christmas music really made me shake my head.
I know how desperate all the stores are for us to spend, spend, spend, but it is getting ridiculous.
Come hell or high water, I will be celebrating and enjoying Thanksgiving thoroughly before moving on to Christmas. After Thanksgiving, it ALL ABOUT Christmas for me!! I LOVE it, so I milk it big time around here.
Enjoy your holidays and decorating!!

lmerie said...

Cute horseshoe. I love the Christmas season, but I really wish they would wait til Nov. 1st to put it all out! I did allow myself to actually notice the Christmas music at Sam's . . . and enjoyed it!

Hairline Fracture said...

The stores seem to bring out the Christmas merchandise earlier every year! I hate that.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I'll have to hang out here more often and get me some holiday spirit. I'm more ready for a wake.

Did notice on our way home from Lowe's tonight (where I wandered about for an hour myself, only I was looking for decals suitable for kitchen cabinets, which I never found by the way) that one of our neighbors had Christmas lights on. I'm hoping that they're just taking advantage of the mild weather and that what I saw was just a test.

The Phoenix said...

Sandi, have you seen this?

Pres. elect makes sick joke, at expense of Nancy Regan... a frail and ailing old white woman. :-(

Classy, hu???????????? :-(

The link to the Press Conference is in the entry. I'd not post it, without a link.

Phoenix

Mima said...

I have nearly finished doing my Christmas shopping, but I couldn't put up any decorations yet! I can understand the temptation as I love the way that everything looks when it is all sparkly, red & green. But it is just too soon.

Next week will be wrapping time, things are in boxes and it all needs sorting out!

JanaBanana said...

:( Then you wouldnt like me :( My home is full decorated now for a week.. 3 full size trees on all levels..
12.5 foot, 9.5 foot and 7 foot trees... not to mention my kids christmas trees in their rooms. I just adore Christmas and to me it comes and goes too quickly.
You still like me dontcha? :)

tlc illustration said...

*sigh* too soon...! I quite like Thanksgiving, and all that it infers and don't like skipping over it in favor of tinsel and lights too early.

Turkey rights! Equal holiday treatment!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Sandi, It really upsets me to see the holidays rushed at me. Please, please just let me enjoy that one holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, where there are no expectations except to enjoy the groaning board and your family. LOL...I just moved the witches hat to the shed today.

Leah in Iowa said...

I just stopped over to see your Giving Thanks list. Looks like you're doing a little mini-post each day. Good for you! =)

After reading this post, I have to admit our jack-o-lanterns are still on the front step, all sunken in, soggy and moldy. Ewww! But the traffic flies by here at 60 mph, and we never have front-door company. I wonder how long they'll sit there before one of us decides they need to go to the burn pile!? =)

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