I was in Lowe's yesterday picking up some mulch and other home improvement items, and I was shocked to see they had their full Christmas display up. Why was I shocked you say and where have I been the past few years to not notice that holiday merchandising seems to go hand-in-hand with Halloween decorations? My kids were off from school, so they were very excited to see all of the twinkling lights and Christmas greenery. I didn't want to ruin their excitement, so I tried to be enthusiastic, and I don't think I quite pulled it off. My son, who is nine did ask why the Christmas decorations were on display before Thanksgiving. I was able to touch a little on consumerism and merchandiser marketing before his eyes glazed over.
I can't help but feel that there is something sad in rushing time and to force feed us holiday cheer when we don't even have our Halloween decorations put away. I also understand that in a down economy, merchandisers need to push a little more to get us thinking earlier about getting the best deal. Also, their job is to plant the seeds of the look of a perfect holiday which will get us to buy those amazing decorations, gifts and special toys for our kids if we truly want a "perfect" holiday.
Luckily we are all getting a little wiser and sometimes having less money forces us to be more practical and to be satisfied with less. We know that possessions are the extra stuff that can be nice, but having them doesn't necessarily make us happy. It is our relationships and memories and how we spend our time that gives us satisfaction and true happiness.
Please take your time putting away your Halloween decorations, as you ready your home for Thanksgiving. I know if we don't fall prey to creating perfect holidays we really will have warm, rich, and satisfying holidays that meet our needs and truly make us happy.