The start of the Christmas season has been creeping up day by day and week by week for years now – and across the world at that. I remember feeling like it began strictly the day after Thanksgiving, but we all know stores now sell ornaments and stockings right alongside Halloween costumes and the latest Thanksgiving table settings.
Even with years of warning, however, I was not prepared for the shock it would be to my internal calendar to head straight into Christmas this year. Starting in October. Without those buffer holidays. With years of experience living outside the US, and wanting to think my degree in international business (fancy title for study of cultural differences) makes me slightly less ignorant than strangers might expect, I did not realize how, subconsciously, my psyche has been programmed to rely on these milestones since our last overseas move.
I love Christmas. There is something magical about the sea of red and green or the winter wonderland décor that has been oozing out of every department store and street lamp since October 1st. The start of the season is exciting – filled with anticipation and shopping lists – but I admit, I’m a little disoriented. How soon before the palm trees are lit (just kidding. that was Charleston last year. where am I now??) and the garland is hung? And again, as it’s only October, won’t we all be sick and tired of this by Christmas??