I’m one of THOSE people. When Christmas decorations/merchandise start going up in September and everyone begins groaning, I am secretly thrilled. I like looking forward to Christmas. I like the anticipation. When I was a kid, I used to listen to our old Christmas records in August, much to my parents’ annoyance. Nowadays I’m a little less tolerant of constant carols, but otherwise I have the same child-like joy when those decorations go up and the merchandise comes out.
I am fully aware I’m like one of three people in the whole world who thinks this.
However. I am trying to figure out why my neighbor had their Christmas tree up — AND LIT — on January 31 this year. When I went to visit my dad in the mountains, Banner Elk, NC still had the city snowflakes and reindeer decorations hanging downtown. When I went to Pigeon Forge, TN this month, they also had lights, decorations, and more just up and twinkling away.
Yesterday (March 10) I passed a car with a Christmas wreath on the hood.
Here’s where I’m confused. I don’t like this and I have no idea why the world isn’t whining and complaining now as much as they do in September. Because in my mind, anticipation is awesome. Let’s look forward to Christmas! Food and family and presents and carols and love and stuff! But afterward it feels like keeping your ex-boyfriend’s stuff around after he ragequits your relationship. You miss him being there so you keep his t-shirt lying around, you don’t remove his loving voice mails, you still look at the Pinterest board you two were building for the trip to Italy you were going to take one day.
Christmas detritus feels so sad. Like we have to hold onto the limp tinsel in order to try to hold onto the feeling instead of trying to move forward and enjoy the year.
Part of me wonders if it’s a sort of post election depression, that as a society (the Christmas-celebrating people, anyway) we are hanging onto the last bright spot in our collective memories: Christmas was here, Obama was president, and they year from hell was almost over. Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds were still hanging on to life. And that present under the tree looked like a new PS4 instead of a new stew pot, which is what it turned out to be.
It’s so widespread – mountains and city, at least three states – I don’t know if anyone can put their finger on exactly why Christmas is lingering so much. You might say it’s societal laziness/depression, but I know some places that are still lighting their lights (Although I haven’t seen a Christmas tree since mid-Feb.) which requires some action.
But damn, I wish they would clean it up and look forward. If we’re still focused on last Christmas in March, then we’re really not approaching the new(ish) year in the proper assertive mindset.
But if anyone wants to talk Christmas, 2017, let’s talk in August.