Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Confusion

I've been intending to write this post for several weeks now -even before Suldog mentioned it a little while back, I already had this on my mind.

However, as so often happens, things I may have on my mind often don't materialize and see the light of day on my blog -or if they do, it isn't always in a very timely fashion. And so it is this year with me and with this post.

I've been busy. Boy, for a while there, was I ever busy! Crafting, cooking, baking -all kinds of things along those lines -and some of the crafting, cooking and baking had to do with the Fall Bazaar held at our church by the women of the parish this past Saturday. A dinner to prepare things for, baked goods for the bake sale portion and yes, I donated two of the tabletoppers (smallish square tablecloths, for those who don't know that term) I had embroidered. Both of them were of the Christmas themes as were a lot of other hand-crafted items offered for sale at the Bazaar.

I've been working on these things plus several other hand-made items that will be used as Christmas gifts from me to members of my family all year long. But, with hand-crafted stuff, one generally does have to start working on those type of things well before most folks even begin to think of Christmas if you are gonna get 'em done in time for the holiday, that is.

Although I keep a careful eye on sales at my favorite crafting items website all the time and shop year-round there for things I want to make - for family gifts for birthdays or Christmas - one thing I really do dislike immensely is the advertising practices so many stores follow with respect to the Christmas Season.

Actually, it isn't even just the Christmas Season that this affects as merchandising displays are often up two, even three months prior to all the various holidays throughout the year. Valentine's showing up in early December; Halloween candy over the Fourth of July and of course, stores who aren't already advertising something or other with Christmas in mind as early as September are probably doomed and out of the shopping loop I suppose.

But let me explain a tad here too first. I have, since my children were very small, shopped year-round with Christmas gifts in mind and then, packed the items away to be dug out and wrapped a day or two before Christmas. I did that out of necessity though otherwise what I bought back in April or June that I paid maybe $20-25 for would cost me at least double that figure, perhaps even triple if I were to wait until December to do all my shopping. And my budget just never would have been able to withstand that and still be able to survive afterwards to pay regular bills, ya know.

So I am not saying I'm against shopping well ahead of time, but I hate to walk into stores in mid-October and see displays all geared up with Christmas themes -or the advertiser's versions of what they "think" are Christmas themes anyway. And, I especially hate to hear Christmas music played over and over and over yet again from early on in autumn up until Christmas Eve and for a couple of weeks afterwards too.

That stuff, for me is just a bit over the top.

Jim Sullivan -a great blogger from up in the Boston area with his blog, Suldog has blogged about this issue last year and I think maybe even the year before that too. But this year, he even produced a special logo -or picture -that we can use to put on our blogs to show we support him and his special effort to curb and curtail the over-abundance of holiday advertising for the Christmas Season until at least after Thanksgiving.

And that, my friends, makes a whole lot of sense to me too!

If you agree with Jim's theory, feel free to steal the picture at the upper part of my sidebar and display it on your blog and hopefully, you will also write a post too with your thoughts about this issue.

Truthfully, I think all this proliferation of advertising, beginning earlier and earlier it seems each year, does nothing but destroy, bit by bit, the true meaning of Christmas for many, if not for most of us.

And the incredible push it has too on consumers, making them feel the need to shop and shop and shop some more to make sure you have EVERYTHING imaginable purchased and under your tree come Christmas Eve tends to yield a much more ungrateful group of children (and adults too at times) as the expectations then rise, higher and higher, each year in the gifting arena.

It takes away the magic of the holiday. It makes us forget the true reason for the season -which is not to have the most fantastic tree, or the biggest spread ever on your table for a holiday gathering, nor is it a time best remembered by the most raucous and drunken gathering for a "Christmas Party" at home or the office either.

Ok -I'm off my little soapbox for tonight now. Time to go wash up the supper dishes and try to work on some more of my craft projects I have stashed away here. Projects I purchased months ago and without any obscene displays urging me to have them in order to provide my family with the most perfect Christmas ever.

The most perfect Christmas ever took place a little over 2000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem. A most humble beginning for the Prince of Peace.

And, that's the aspect I would rather convey at Christmas -as well as year-round -that family and faith are the things to be recognized, given honor to -not all the trappings the ad-men would want us to believe in.


Sandee said...

It's all about the money so they do the early sales as they call them. Whatever. I too think it's way too early. All the holidays seem to overlap anymore.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

Maggie May said...

I am with you and Suldog in thinking that Christmas starts too early by far...... but we don't have Thanksgiving here. Maybe we should!

Nuts in May

Linda said...

I had best pop over to Suldog's blog and give him a big "huzzah!" as he and I obviously think the same based on my post of Monday.

I understand the whole "retail works six months in advance" thing but that doesn't mean they have to shove Christmas sales down our throats so soon. We all KNOW that Christmas is coming but I wish it could just come naturally like it used to.

You are absolutely right in that it takes away from the true meaning of the holiday and it's not as easy to ignore as some might think - especially if you have the TV on for any amount of time at all.

terri said...

AMEN! I may just copy that logo and do a post on this too. For too long, I have allowed commercialism to ruin my Christmas spirit. I'm tired of it!

Suldog said...

Thank you very much, Jeni. Even as I was fuming last night while watching Christmas ads on the eve of Veterans Day, I am now filled with joy at realizing how many people - such as yourself - care.

Uncle Skip, said...

You have done a terrific job of expressing my feeling that there is nothing wrong with advance preparation, but that we don't need the commercial reminders three months early

Berni said...

I agree wholeheartedly I like the 12 days of Christmas concept that I had as a child. The decorations and Christmas tree didn't go up until Christmas Eve and the gifts were humble and there were not so many of them. Father Christmas as we called him was not pushed like it is nowadays and women weren't judged on how their trees, baking, dinner etc looked. Plus the whole thing was over before we got tired of it and the emphasis was on Christ's birth not on merchandising. I am looking forward to Christmas in Mexico because they are far more Christ centered and the 9 days they celebrate Christmas are about different parts of the story. Unfortunately the North American Santa Claus is starting to pop up there too. Personally I don't bother much with Christmas anymore. We usually have someone who would be alone over but I don't necessarily have a turkey, don't do Christmas cards, or decorations and no baking. It has taken a huge burden from me as my last husband wanted everything to look like a photograph from Norman Rockwell and he spent so much on Christmas we were in debt for most of the year. Lets get back to simpler times.

TechnoBabe said...

There is so much pressure to buy buy buy not just at Christmas but all year long. I am so glad I am out of that rat race once and for all. Doing some act of kindness for someone without getting recognition or pay back is what the season all year long is really about.

Dr Jenn said...

Jeni - I have a verb on my page I need help conjugating.

Travis said...

My personal opinion is that early advertising only has an impact on a person's tradition if that person allows it to. Each to his or her own tradition is what I say.

Paula said...

I do agree with this and think that most people do, except for the big corporations that are the ones who push the advertising all the time. Like you, I've always shopped all year long for Christmas. Actually I don't know if I'd call it shop really, just if I see something that I want for someone, at a great price, I'll pick it up. I'm more and more trying to do all homemade, but find it's not always easy, especially for the men in the family.
I do love Christmas music though, but try to refrain until late November. I did have some on the stereo earlier today for the first time this year...

Suldog said...

D'Oh! Took me a little while to remember, but I did add your posting to mine about Thanksgiving. At the end as you scroll down.