Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The holidays make us crazy

The holiday shopping season is in full swing now, which means that the stores are seeing a spike in shoppers looking for the best in holiday deals to round out the empty spaces underneath the holiday trees.

Pricy items are dropped into layaway at the stores that have it. Other items are hidden away in closets and behind blankets in the corners of bedrooms. Stocking stuffers and candy canes are bundled in bags and stashed behind the tree. Hard to find toys are hidden in the best hiding places to keep them a surprise. Hand knit sweaters and cheap lingerie is hidden by people hoping to surprise their significant other with a special present. Yes, the holidays bring out a special kind of crazy in us all as we try to hide away special gifts for those we love and play pass the fruitcake until it finds its way to someone that actually likes the stuff.

To me, one of the craziest of holiday activities is the battle to be the first to have your holiday tree up. I know of at least two people that had their trees up before Thanksgiving, which seems to be an ever increasing trend in the holiday season. When I was around 18 I noted to my mom that people seemed to be steamrolling directly from Halloween to Christmas and forgetting about Thanksgiving entirely. At the time the store we were in was taking out the Halloween stuff and putting wreaths and wrapping paper in its place. There was nothing to buy to decorate for Thanksgiving. It made me a hoarder of all things Thanksgiving and I started a collection in the basement in a box of paper Indians and Pilgrims, paper machae turkeys and cornucopias.

I love Christmas, but I like to start my Christmas season after December starts. My tree is up and decorated around December 21st for Yule, then it remains up through to New Year's Eve. Sometimes we have left it up after New Year's, but I try to have most of the decorations down by the end of December or early January.