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Jumping the holiday gun

Katie Kohler | Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas falls on Dec. 25 every year. Except every year, it seems to creep up earlier and earlier.

Before we even get a chance to digest our Thanksgiving turkey, we are bombarded with Christmas-dominated radio stations, holiday door-busters and movie marathons.

I love Christmas as much as the next person. Actually, I love Christmas probably more than the average person. But, I refuse to acknowledge the date until Thanksgiving.

On top of that, I don’t think it’s fair to Thanksgiving to even think about it until we have enough stuffing and cranberry sauce to last us the rest of the month.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday and one of the only times each year you can eat until you pass out and not feel bad about it. I’m in no rush for that to be over.

But that’s not the point. The point is that by jumpstarting Christmas in early November, when it finally comes on Dec. 25, it feels like it’s over before it even began.

For as many years as I can remember, I wake up on Christmas morning to Christmas carols and stocking stuffers, open a few presents, go to church and then suddenly realize that Christmas – the day for which I have been waiting and preparing for months – is over.

We spend hundreds of hours and usually thousands of dollars getting ready for Santa, but we forget that Christmas, like all days, is only 24 hours. Dec. 26 is just another day.

The stretch of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas within two months of each other is the best span of the year, only to be topped off with New Year’s. People need to understand that getting ahead of ourselves is the very reason every Nov. 1, Nov. 25ish, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 that we’re scratching our heads wondering where the time went and saying “What a shame. That wasn’t as fun as it used to be.”

In addition to over-preparing for Christmas, thereby decreasing its overall luster, people are let down by what became of it.

And who do we have to blame for this? Storefronts putting out Christmas decorations in November, starting the “25 Days of Christmas” 45 days in advance and offering incentives for buying now – all eclipsing Thanksgiving in all its glory.

I ask you to enjoy each holiday, preparing for no longer than the window separating them. Believe me, Christmas (and Thanksgiving) come but once a year. You might as well get your money’s worth (or your mashed potatoes worth).

I am all for welcoming the spirit of Christmas early. I like putting up decorations weeks in advance. However, there must be a line drawn so that the Christmas holiday monopoly does not infringe on Thanksgiving. The pilgrims wouldn’t have wanted it that way and neither do I.