Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Weekend Assignment: When Do the Holidays Begin?

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Halloween is behind us, Thanksgiving ahead, and Christmas advertising has begun. So how about it? When do the holidays begin for you? Do you avoid thinking about Christmas and Hanukkah until after Thanksgiving, or is any time after Halloween okay? Is it time for Christmas lights in your neighborhood, and do the neighbors agree with you? How about Christmas music? When does that become okay, if ever?

It's hard to avoid thinking about the December shopping season, as much as I try. Of course, thinking about it isn't the same as actually getting into the whole holiday brouhaha. Some family members have to plan vacations and time off early, so in that respect we're thinking about family celebrations. I also try to think about gifts, but only because I'm always on the lookout for bargains.

As far as decorating goes, we rarely decorate before the middle of December. We get a live tree and if we buy it any earlier it'll be nothing but a pile of needles on the carpet by Christmas. Oh, we use the stuff that's supposed to make the tree last longer, but I've yet to be convinced it actually works. Anyway, we just haul out everything at once.

The major planning involves the Catmas card. And I still don't get them out until the last minute every year. Sigh.

Of course, the stores are already in high gear for the season. Thanksgiving? Who needs it? Several houses in the neighborhood put their Christmas decorations out the day after Halloween. Most will do it over the Thanksgiving weekend, though.

However, I'm going to admit to my own Christmas decorating faux pas. You see, I keep forgetting to take this down:


The pepper lights stay up all year, and most years I forget to take the mistletoe down. Oh, well. I suppose it's just another odd bit in our rather eclectic decorating scheme, right? ;-)

Extra Credit: Have you bought any holiday presents yet? If not, when do you think you'll start?

I haven't done any shopping yet, but I'll be starting soon. This year I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting people, so it shouldn't be as painful as years past. I hate to say it, but I really don't enjoy Christmas shopping. One good thing about the hours I keep is that I can make it to the stores when they're less crowded. Still, the piped-in Christmas music generally makes me flee in terror.

Tags: Weekend Assignment

Filed under: Weekend Assignment            
11/16/2009 11:24:03 AM

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