2008-11-27 / News

Thoughts on the season

As we arrive at the “official” start of the holiday season, it’s easy to already be sick and tired of being bombarded with season’s greetings, Christmas carols, and festive decorations. Trick-or-treaters were barely back home counting their Halloween candy when local retailers were already throwing on the Christmas shopping soundtrack. There was a time, long ago, when Thanksgiving marked the start of the season’s cheer - so for me it’s all about to begin.

I was hesitant to write a Christmas column already for two reasons. Firstly, because the holiday is still a month away and officially I haven’t recognized the start of the season. Secondly, my deadline was rapidly approaching and I found myself strapped for column ideas.

So here are a few thoughts on the coming season which for some is already here, but for purists such as myself - it is just about to begin.

This attempt by corporate America to shove Christmas down our throats earlier and earlier each year is the reason I think so many people hate the coming of the holidays. As I recall when I was a boy, years and years (and years) ago, Christmas commercials and decorations didn’t start appearing until after we’d consumed the family turkey on Thanksgiving. Corporate America at least let us get through Thanksgiving before putting so much emphasis on Christmas.

Today it’s almost like Thanksgiving is just a speed-bump on the race to Dec. 25. Slow down! The holidays are here to be enjoyed. They shouldn’t be dragged out to get every last penny out of shoppers, but they should also not rushed.

I think the long, drawn out holiday season is why so many people are stressed out by the time Dec. 25 gets here. The commercialization of the season also contributes to this. When did Christmas become a time characterized by tension and struggle? Does materialism taint the holiday season? I think often the Christmas spirit is stomped on and destroyed by the overcrowded stores, indecisive shoppers and poorly costumed Santas as December comes along. It should always be about spending time with family and friends, not making sure everyone has the latest and greatest gifts.

Another clue to enjoying the holidays is taking in all the wonderful holiday decorations and events that can be found, often right in your own backyard.

Holiday decorations grace the entire Genesee County area. Nearly every residence twinkles with Christmas lights and Christmas trees are visible through living room windows.

There are celebrated houses that everyone drives past to witness the beauty of the exterior lights — as well as some homes that look like they belong to Clark W. Griswold from National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.”

Enjoy these local displays of Christmas cheer! Just as much as you may enjoy seeing Santa at the mall or checking out the fabulous decorations at Crossroads Village, enjoy the little things that make Christmas special.

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