…How long must I put up with thee?
Yes, I know. It’s not the popular outlook. Especially this year! People I’ve previously known to be rational and sane-thinking individuals have had their Christmas decoration up for weeks already.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the family element, the getting together of friends who may not have seen each other much through the busy year. I love the giving (and receiving, obviously) of gifts. I genuinely love it. I’d just quite like it to be confined to the second half of the month of December. You can get too much of a good thing, you know.
It seems to me that ‘Christmas time’ is starting earlier each year. Decorations and gift ideas are in the shop the day after Hallowe’en at the latest. Do we really need to be bombarded with cheery (or not) Christmas music in the shops on the first day of November? Do we need to be told what the “perfect gift” for Mum or Dad is? Do we need the supermarkets to try and entice us to do the Christmas food shopping with them (using awful, regurgitated, insulting adverts)? Can we not just be left alone to enjoy the festive period when it’s actually the Festive Period?
I hate the consumerism. Could you guess?
And as for Christmas trees: why do we do it? Why do we bring a chopped-down piece of wood with needles clinging to it for dear life (or if you’re an artificial fan, an effigy of one) into our homes to slowly wilt and die in the corner of the lounge? My extensive research* has shown that evergreen branches were given as worship to the Sun God in midwinter. They were supposed to make him healthier and stronger. Another possible reason is that decorative evergreen branches were used to protect from ghosts, witches, evil spirits and the likes. Then there’s the tale about a man called St Boniface. He felled a massive tree that took down everything in its path as it fell, except one small solitary fir tree. He declared this a miracle and named it the tree of the Christ child. Convenient, huh? Whichever one of these is your reason for having a Christmas tree, or if (like me) it’s just what you do every year, WHY ARE YOU DOING IT SO EARLY?
There are some houses where decorations are tasteful and matching, some where they’re chaotic and individual (mine run a fine line in the middle of that somewhere). And then there are some houses who cause a surge in the national grid when their lights are turned on. There’s a perfect example of this that we drove past last night. I wish I’d taken a photograph. In fact, I might even drive round tonight, just for you. It’s AWFUL! The entire front of the house is covered in lights, there are at least a dozen life-size figures made from lights. They flash, they make it look as though things are moving, they illuminate the road outside. It is a true example of going overboard. It’s not *quite* as OTT as this, but it’s not far off…
In our house, we currently have an advent calendar (which was made by the Giraffe and I last year, I’m still very proud of it). It’s our only nod in the direction of decorations so far. And really, if we had any choice in the matter, it probably wouldn’t be on display until later in the month. Thankfully, it’s something we both agree on and there has (so far) been no pleading from Nuggs for a tree or tinsel or any of the other detritus that will soon cover every conceivable surface. Normally, I would have put the decoration up about 2 weeks before Christmas. Mainly because I felt I had to. This year, owing to a weekend away and various other busy things that are going on, it’s likely we won’t pick up a tree until about a week before. Does that make us horrible, scrooge-like people? Do I care? It may well mean that come boxing day I won’t feel a sudden desire to rip the thing down and get my lounge back to normal, which I fear may be the case for some who “entered into the spirit of things” (as one person so pointedly put it) quite so soon.
*via google, so don’t take any of this as fact