October 20, 2011

And....We're Off.

The other night in Pricesmart, in the forefront of the Halloween candy display, I noticed a full shelf of imported cookies in tins and boxes. They weren't decorated in a Christmas theme, but it was pretty clear the store had brought them in as a first hint of the looming, (did I say 'looming'? I meant 'coming') Season. Beside the shelf of cookies was a cardboard stand full of Christmas cards, which I thought was fine for October 9, if someone needed to mail cards to relatives in some far off place like an undiscovered village deep in the Amazon Rainforest or the International Space Station. Last weekend, in the ever-shameless Superstore, we were greeted with a sign declaring: HALLOWEEN COSTUMES 25% OFF, while over in the seasonal display area, the Halloween stuff was already being pushed rudely aside in preparation for the piles of the more lucrative Christmas paraphenalia. I suppose that means the Thanksgiving things were out in July, but I must have wilfully ignored them. (I have also recently observed that the traditional holiday decorations are cross-pollenating: one can now buy Easter tree decorations and Thanksgiving crackers - the kind that go 'bang' when pulled, not the kind you eat). Don't they know that we parents are just trying to deal with one holiday at a time?

I'll admit I felt differently as a child. When I was little the Sears Wish Book would arrive in early fall and my brother, Stephen and I would pore over the pages, make fun of the ultra-serious male models in turtlenecks and satin smoking jackets, and mark all the toys and games we liked. We'd lie in bed at night asking each other what we wanted for Christmas and dream of air hockey, Easy-bake ovens, and velveteen skirt and jacket sets with lace collared blouses (at least in my case). I'm pretty sure it was mid-November when I would break out the 'Radar the Happy Reindeer' record. I'd sit in my dad's big green chair with heater and massage feature, listening on earphones to the story and music (the earphones were considered a great peace-keeping invention in our house.) After all, looking forward to Christmas is half the fun of it, but really, there are limits!

Is it truly necessary for the malls and shops to break out the Christmas decorations before Remembrance Day? It never hurts to be organized with one's shopping and preparations, but can't we do it on the sly instead of being so damned obvious about it?; ie. if I see something I think would make a great gift I will probably buy it and store it away in my hidden cache, but I don't need to be surrounded by tinsel and animated plastic Santas to do it. I mean, by the time Christmas is over I'm sick to death of hearing Elvis' 'Blue Christmas' while I shop for bread, milk and toilet paper. I would be the first to vote for a law against PDC's (Public Displays of Christmas) until December first.

My family and I spent this Thanksgiving with some very good friends at their farm. Since the day promised to be fine, we opted for a mid-day meal followed by a walk in the fields. It was wonderful to spend the morning cooking and the afternoon, after a huge turkey dinner followed by dessert and coffee, out in the fall sunshine. We first walked to the salmon spawning channel where the last of the coho struggled and splashed, next we walked to the second furthest field and spotted a big black bear enjoying the furthest field's grass. We watched the bear for a few minutes until it seemed to notice us, then headed south towards the house. We admired the row of sugar maples, all yellow and glowing against the deep blue of the mountains, we hunted for and dissected owl pellets in the cedar grove, and picked all the pumpkins in the farm's patch and loaded them onto the wagon. Back at the house we did the dishes while the children nibbled on pie and leftover potatoes, and then home we went, our bellies too full for anything resembling supper. And the best part? We didn't think about Christmas even once.

The above is a re-posting of a blog post I wrote two years ago. I hope you enjoyed it (and don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, truly I do!) My kids saw the first 'Holiday' themed TV ad of the year back near the end of August.


  1. Oh, Rebecca. Sadly, I don't have time to read this right now. As usual. But I read the green bit at the bottom, so I suspect I have read it before. I will come back and read it again. But not now. So, why am I here if I have no time. I just missed you and I missed coming here. I am still not caught up on some of your earlier posts. But, I do miss you. Did I say that bit already. Homeschool is wonderful but all consuming. Well you know. I shall take a deep breath and come back another time. Happy Thanksgiving. And if I am not back before then (heaven forbid) Merry Christmas. :)

  2. Tracey: You did read it, way back when and sent me a comment of some kind. I remember. Therefore, you are off the hook :)

  3. For gods sake don't do that. Not the republishing. But the telling about it. What are you, six ?.
    Blogging is about non stress. A way to let go some creative steam. It's not something you need to apologise ever.
    The reality is if you keep stressing about what you put on the blog you'll stop doing it altogether.

    And what the frack is a coho when 'tiz sitting up eating a pick

  4. any more i think the point of the holidays are missed by the masses. glad to see you are one of the few who still relishes them.

  5. I was at a store yesterday and overheard a couple of people talking that they were out doing their Christmas shopping. I kindof stopped for a moment to see (eavesdrop) if I heard them correctly! But yes, they mentioned it again that they had already purchased 'most' of their presents.

    I love twinkle lights, but no. I do not like to have Christmas pushed on me in October.

  6. i feel you on this...our mall is already decorated...santas workshop is up...crazy...there was a thing in the paper about black friday sales already...it gets earlier and earlier every year it seems...

  7. Hi, I just found this post when I was searching for Radar! I grew up listening to it as well and I'm not sure if one of my parents still has a copy. I'm experiencing a real hankering to hear it now! Funny because I'm a "Rebecca S" as well. :)


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!