When I think of Christmas, I think of the warmth and good cheer of the holiday season. Whether it’s curling up in front of the fire with a mug of hot cocoa, or layering up in cold-weather gear and tromping through the snow looking for the perfect evergreen – I love it all. You can’t beat the warm, cozy feeling you get from spending time with the ones you care about. And there’s even a certain charm about the body heat generated from being shoulder to shoulder with fellow shoppers as everyone scrambles to get last- minute gifts for friends and family.
OK, I’m not truly a fan of this last one, but you get the picture. The warmth comes from togetherness, and the spirit of giving.
There is one kind of warmth that I don’t associate with this most festive of holidays: the heat of the sun. At least not here in upstate New York. (I’ve done the holidays in warmer climes, and it’s just not the same.)
This week, as I’ve looked out on a string of beautiful, sunny days, Christmas feels so far away.
And it should, since it’s only mid-November.
That fact seems to have escaped some people, though. Our local municipalities started putting up their holiday wreaths and banners weeks ago, before the last remnants of Halloween shaving cream had even dissipated. Santa’s igloo is already up in West Park, for goodness sake!
Just turn on the television. Cable networks are counting down to their Xmas countdowns. And it seems like every commercial and bit of advertising is centered around that same, rather cliched, “home for the holidays” theme as retailers ply their Christmas wares in earnest.
Plenty of local merchants have jumped on the sleigh early as well. Don’t get me wrong, their windows look nice. And I hope people do shop locally this year. But it’s all just a bit premature, in my opinion.
Homeowners have gotten into the swing of it, too. You may have noticed that quite a few took advantage of last weekend’s nice weather to put up their own Christmas decorations.
I cringed when I passed the house of a friend of mine on Sunday. Not that her yard, which had been colonized by more holiday-themed inflatables than I could count, didn’t look fantastically festive – it did. I just couldn’t help thinking about the size of her electric bill.
And while to a certain extent I can see why you’d want to get a head start on putting up your outdoor decorations while the weather is still nice and mild, I can’t fathom anyone putting up their Christmas tree this early. Yet, I swear I saw a telltale yuletide glow from a window as I drove to work earlier this week.
While I admire the industriousness of these individuals, already so caught up in the holiday spirit, it just makes me want to tell them all to cease and desist. Is it possible, do you think, to issue a citizen’s injunction for premature decoration?..