There are two currently popular schools of thought when it comes to "when Christmas-y things should begin happening."
The dispute--between those who favor the moment Halloween is finished and those who like waiting until Thanksgiving has passed--is all over Facebook and the radio and even, to a mild extent, my neighborhood.
This morning as I shuttled the school carpool, my eldest son listened to a few bars of my (totally charming, by the way) She & Him holiday album before asking, "What is this weird stuff?" From her seat, our third-grader carpool charge furrowed her brow and narrowed her eyes at me, while saying, "Isn't it a little early for that?"
I informed them that because I was driving the car, I picked the songs. And if they didn't want to listen to some warm, happy music, then that was their problem.
I'm super nice to be around at 7:55 A.M.
I just don't get why people are grumpy about other people enjoying Christmas.
So they aren't ready to put up a tree and sing carols and bake cookies yet. Fine. Wait until you're ready.
But why do we have to moan and wail about a radio station playing continuous Christmas music starting in early November? Why are we snarky and cynical about our neighbors or Facebook friends who are adorning their homes with lights and holiday decor before we do?
I'm really not sure why we all can't just live and let live on this one. Is it that many people associate the holiday season with stress, and thus do not want to see it sneak up on them sooner than it must? Is it that they want to avoid Christmas Creep, where December is no longer special because the season stretches longer and longer?
Who's to say?
Here is my take on the discussion: if celebrating the season early makes you feel happy, then by all means, please indulge. If the two radio stations (which ALWAYS play "soft" and "cozy" hits, mind you) bother you with their holiday music in November, change the station. Or listen to your iPod and quit bellyaching.
When I commuted 45 minutes each direction to visit my preemie in the NICU twice a day all through the month of November of last year, I listened to Christmas songs on the radio the entire drive. Listening to nostalgic and beautiful songs became something I looked forward to with all the driving back and forth between my baby and the rest of my family. And putting up the Christmas tree in mid-November was a happy outlet that diverted my mind from the gavage feeds and newborn weight gain and milk-pumping issues which otherwise filled my days.
It seems that my Jack is of the "embrace the season" school of thought, like me. Today on his outing during therapy he chose a massive candy cane roughly the diameter of PVC piping at the dollar store, and giggled as he licked it and stickied up his therapist's car on the drive home.
When we went for ice cream later in the evening, I also treated my sons to a substantial helping of Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, and Vince Guaraldi's holiday hits. I heard no complaining this time.
As we arrived home, we noticed that our neighbor had illuminated his house with tiny red and green lights.
Christmas is coming, folks. The goose is getting fat. And you seriously don't need to let it ruin your day.