It's that time of year again. Yes, that joyous season when we grumble about retailers pushing Christmas at us way too early. "It's getting earlier every year!" goes the common complaint. Some experience this as performance anxiety. Some see it as crass commercialism. Others feel that it trivializes the spirit of peace and goodwill that Christmas represents. My feeling is, why fight it? I LOVE this season. I can't wait for the calendar to flip to November. I'm all, "Yeah! I'm ON it! Like tinsel on an evergreen, baby!"
For those of you who are struggling to adopt this attitude, allow me to share my Top Five Bah Humbug bashing tips.
Humbug #5 — "Good grief! This hobby store has Christmas stock in ALREADY! It's only September, for the love of Santa!" Take in a slow, deep breath, 1–2–3–4; and exhale slowly to the count of eight tiny reindeer. Let me talk you down. You're safe. You're in a craft store. Crafters need long lead time to make their deadline. You are under no personal obligation to make your own mason jar snow globes. Nor should you be expected to create Santa's elf army out of toilet roll holders, or a nativity scene out of bread dough, or even an advent calendar garland for the fireplace using baby socks. Put that glue gun down. Just walk away.
Humbug #4 — "What is this?!?! It's only October and the Crate and Barrel catalog has Christmas table settings? Why, oh why, are they doing this to us???" Whatever you do, don't panic! This is only the first of about two hundred catalogs that will be delivered to your door between now and the end of December. Pace yourself. Leaf through them as though they are charming magazines filled with lovely things for pretend people who lead fantasy lives. Then pop them in the recycle bin and wait for next week's load. Repeat. And remember. You will survive without snowflake charger plates.
Humbug #3 — "Look! Over there! They're putting up a Christmas tree lot! Are you kidding me? It's November 10th! Remember last year's tree? No wonder we were ankle deep in needles!" Yes, these trees are going to be a little dry by December 25th. Who are we kidding? They'll be desiccated by Thanksgiving. So this year? Artificial, my friends. Pre-lit. No stress over getting it to balance in the tree stand. No resin stuck to your fingers —and everything else. No needles lodged in your carpet. You can even put it away fully decorated. Heck, it could stay up all year! Yes, you could become those people.
Humbug #2— "Ack! A holiday song? In November? Oh my aching eardrums! Are we going to hear, "Simply having a wonderful Christmas time," over and over for two whole months? I'll go insane!" This one is simple. Tell yourself, "It will be such a relief come December 26th when we won't be subjected to those songs anymore." Or at least you can tell yourself that. They will be back. But you have 10 months to get the wretched things out of your head.
Humbug #1 — "Did you see THAT?!?" You know how the rest of this goes. "THAT" is the first sighting of decorations in the mall. Or the first ad on TV that features Black Friday store hours. My advice: give in. Go shopping. Waiting until December 24th is only going to wreak havoc with your blood pressure anyway. And if you really want to put the "good" and the "cheer" back in "Be of Good Cheer," I find that charitable projects like Coats for Kids, or Toys for Tots, or Good Neighbor food hampers really puts inspiration back into your shopping trip. So start early. Like now!