Thursday, 18 October 2012

Merry Hallowthanksmas?

Does anyone besides me feel like we're rushing the seasons these days?

I was seeing Christmas posts on Pinterest and on Facebook in July.  

August found me drowning in pumpkin..  Not just recipes either:  Heck! There was pumpkin everything on line, in magazines, and on those "how to" shows on TV.

Now that pumpkin time has actually arrived, food and craft blogs, Pinterest, and Facebook are awash with Christmas posts.  Christmas magazines fill the racks at the newsstands.  Papers are publishing articles on planning for the holidays.

I get it.  Really, I do.  

If you're going to make stuff yourself, you have to allow enough time to do the work, and that means planning ahead.

But Costco was selling Christmas ornaments in July, and the Sears Christmas Wish Book arrived at our door in August.  

Winners had Hallowe'en stuff in August but now that I might actually want some of it, 

there's not a Hallowe'en item in sight.  
(They do have some cute New Year's Eve items if you're looking for them.  ;)


Aren't we missing something with all this looking ahead?

In July and August, I was enjoying summer.  

You remember summer, don't you?  That season of warm weather, breezy clothing, and picnics that everyone was busy writing about last March?

In September I enjoyed watching yellow school buses drive by after a couple of months' absence. (July's back-to-school posts were but a distant memory.)  I made the most of the harvest, and spent some time preparing for Thanksgiving.

Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October - six weeks earlier than American Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving posts written by forward-planning American bloggers started appearing in numbers around mid-September.  

For once I was enjoying seasonal posts during the actual season when I might use them!

Rejoicing was heard at my house.  

Now I'm thinking about Hallowe'en (wondering whether I should bake some Tim-Burton-inspired cupcakes and considering whether it's appropriate to wear some sort of Hallowe'en costume to work on the 31st) even while reading about Christmas decorations and festive recipes on line.

My point?

It's great to plan ahead - smart from both a time management point of view and in terms of budgeting for big events - but this unending stream of months-early holiday information and promotion can suck the joy out of things.

A little anticipation is a good thing, but too much is just...well...too much.

We all understand that when kids hear about Christmas from August 'til December, when they are subjected for months to marketing hype about Christmas toys, Christmas lights, Christmas food, and Christmas movies, Christmas day itself can seem anticlimactic.  

I find that sad.  

How on earth can any one day live up to the months of build up, promotion, and expectation we build around holidays, on line, in the media, and in our stores?  

It can't.  

Even for us grown ups.


By all means, look forward to the next big thing.  Have fun reading about it and being inspired by all the creative thinking out there.  Enjoy the shopping trips and the planning, 
and the food, and the sparkly stuff.  

Just don't forget to take time out from all that looking ahead to enjoy the good stuff that's happening now.  

Right this minute.  

Take a walk and look around you.  Feel the autumn air.  Enjoy the scenery. 

Look up from your Christmas magazines for long enough to appreciate how excited the kids are about trick or treating.

Don't miss the fun.  

It's right here.  Right now.

Image information: 
Cartoon by Jim Hunt, and used with his kind permission.  Jim has a website, Jim Hunt Illustration, on which he shares more of his wonderful work.  Stop by and check it out.

Thanks to my friend Heath Rosier for bringing Jim's work to my attention.