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How Soon is Too Soon?

Posted by Matt on November 13 at 02:09 pm

As much as I love the season of fall, I love the Christmas time of year even more. So much so that I’m usually one of those people that like to decorate the tree the weekend after Halloween. We’ll, it’s been a couple of weeks since Halloween and to my wife’s dismay, the tree still is not up.

holidayShe’s been hounding me for these past two weeks, but I haven’t really had the urge to set up a Christmas tree.
I get why all of the stores are setting up early. Based on the numbers, it totally makes sense. One of the local radio stations started playing 100% Christmas music a week ago. Every time Deidra turns it on, I say to her, “Really?”

A couple of years ago, I would’ve said, “Crank it up!”

So, “Why the change of heart?” To be honest, I can’t really put my finger on it. I still get the same, warm, fuzzy feeling every year around Christmas time. Maybe I’m just getting grumpier in my old age. :)

I’m trying to weigh the pros and cons of decorating early. Here’s what I could come up with.

The Argument Against Decorating Early for the Holidays

This gem came from my Father-in-Law: “Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? I’d rather put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving and take it down in January, than put it up the day after Halloween and take it down the day after Christmas!”

Not only is there the risk of growing weary of the holidays, but I think that starting the holidays in early November starts to diminish the integrity of this special time. It only comes once a year, but when it lasts for over two months, I think it loses the “Wow!” factor.

The Argument For Decorating Early for the Holidays

For me at least, the obvious argument for setting up early is that it is, in Andy Williams’ words, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” It’s undeniable. In most cases, there’s no time like Christmas time.

On top of that, regardless of how early I set up the tree and turn on the Christmas music, I always feel like Christmas just comes and goes so fast! There’s always something that I wished I would’ve done, but didn’t really have the time. The last couple of years, it’s been Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village. I hear it’s pretty great, but I’ve yet to check it out.

Here are a couple of things that I absolutely have to do each and every holiday season:

The realization that I’ve come to after writing this is that Christmas time can be as long or as special as you make it. It could last all year, so long as we keep the spirit in our hearts and the peace in our lives. The stores and radio stations shouldn’t decide when we’re supposed to be preparing for this most special of times. It’s up to you.

What about all of you Christmas lovers? Do you love that the holiday season seems to be creeping earlier and earlier on the calendar? When do you start decorating? Do you have a list of things you absolutely need to do every holiday season?

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Chicky ChaCha
    Chicky ChaCha says:

    I have rather abandoned a lot of the hoopla around Christmas b/c the whole real meaning of it has been so watered down. But to each his own. Also my two sons are grown. We never had the Santa thing–I had made a birthday cake for Jesus–even though it is just a celebration–historically not exactly sure his exact date of birth. But regardless Christmas is a joyful time of getting together with loved ones and making good memories. That is my blog on it! Anyway Matt—what is this getting old and grumpier–you still look as if you are a baby and have a long ways to go! LOL!

  2. Chicky ChaCha
    Chicky ChaCha says:

    Yes Home Alone is a must! LOL–loved that movie! My hubby loves the movie with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed–how awful the title has slipped my mind!!!

  3. Chicky ChaCha
    Chicky ChaCha says:

    It’s a Wonderful Life—good movie!

  4. Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
    Cuban Queen Crazy Chick says:

    I adore that magical, wintery Christmas feeling in the air just as much as you, Matt, but I 100% agree with the first argument. We need to slow down, enjoy what’s happening around us (still pretty leaves around, you know!) and keep pace with nature, not corporate America. :)

  5. Elaine aka Belly Chick
    Elaine aka Belly Chick says:

    My thoughts on this is that it must be torture for the little ones to have Christmas flogged right from the day after Halloween right up until the 25th of December! I remember how time went by so slowly when I was little even if it wasn’t December so it must be excruciating for them now! So I’m all for the season starting in the first week of December.

  6. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Well I love Christmas no matter how short or long is seems. My kids said they believed in Santa because they were afraid they wouldn’t get presents. I always told them it was the celebration of Jesus birth and the whole Christmas thing down to keep Christ in Christmas. Then we had the story of Santa Clause and how different countries celebrate and how that story starteed. I am a true child at heart I believe in Christ and Santa Clause. Yes Virginia
    (my mothers name), there is a Santa and a good reason to celebrate, and I do want it all.
    Now for my rough part my mother died 2 weeks before Christmas when she was 43 of a coranary leaving me 22 to help my 16 and 19 year old brothers to cope. In spite we all grew up happy and celebrated Christmas to its fullest.
    I worked retail 32 years and really had little time to take down or put up decorations sometimes it would be Feb. until I got the tree down. My husbands worst dismay was after my back surgeries it was up until May. That is a bit long. He can take partial blame for not bringing the tubs for decorations in from the shed. LOL

  7. Shelly m
    Shelly m says:

    my personal thoughts regarding celebrating christmas so early in the year is that it pulls from the very meaning of christmas. i agree with ivy, that corporate america is pretty much just pushing their sales with choosing to start the christmas season so very early.

  8. Shelly m
    Shelly m says:

    as far as my list of MUST DO’S for the christmas season
    1-put up my white tree in the dining room with all food related ornaments with my sons and husband.
    2-bakes lots and lots of christmas cookies to share AND eat.
    3-taking a ride thru the area with my sons to look at all the holiday decorations.
    EVERYONE KEEP THEIR FINGERS CROSSED FOR ME THIS YEAR-MY TEENAGE SONS NO LONGER THINK THEIR MOTHER IS COOL TO HANG AROUND AND I AM HOPING THEY WILL STILL DRIVE AROUND LOOKING AT THE LIGHTS WITH ME!!!!! lol

  9. Bonnie R
    Bonnie R says:

    I’m with the ones who say, lets celebrate Thanks giving before we celebrate christmas.
    Seeing Christmas decorations is nice when I’m trying to get a feel of what colors are popular this year, but if I haven’t had my first Turkey, it just doesn’t seem right.
    personally, we haven’t gotten the tree out of storage in the las few years. No little kids and it so much trouble to get my husband to go into the garage attic for it. Had to give into a fake tree a few years back, just too many allergies. also no pointsettias in the house. makes Christmas decorations down to candles and maybe a few ornaments.
    But I do start my bakeing back in October. Freeze cookie dough and start canning back in july.

  10. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    So interesting you should share this blog today. I went to Asheville, NC to the Biltmore Estate today. They are fully decorated for Xmas and I wanted to go before it got too crowded. Well, wrong, it was already too crowded. Everything was gorgeous, but there was no Xmas spirit. I kept wondering what they could have done to make it feel special. I realized there was no Xmas music playing. To me, I thought, that would have made the difference. I walked into the main gift store which was decorated to the hilt, and there was Xmas music playing on an old timey musical instrument. I instantly felt happy, and started singing and dancing around the very crowded store. I noticed that many of the same somber folks I had seen walking around the halls of the mansion were now enjoying food and wine samples (no, I didn’t sample the wines today, I did that two weeks ago) and they were lined up at the cashiers’ counter with Xmas treasures to purchase. What can I say??? I love to put up Xmas colors after Halloween, but not the tree. The real decorating takes place after Thanksgiving.

  11. Julie v
    Julie v says:

    Christmas starts after Thanksgiving at my house. The first thing I do is set out the nativity set, then the angels. I think that really helps keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I always try to watch Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas. Of course there is baking and sharing food with family and friends.

  12. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    I love the fall and winter holiday decorating! And I can relate to most everything you’ve said–except the part about decorating early for Christmas. I like to celebrate Thanksgiving to it’s fullest and decorate the house and yard to give this wonderful but often overlooked holiday it’s due. Pumpkins, gourds, Indian Corn, Bittersweet, and all the rest. Plus, I can’t picture the house decorated for Christmas while trying to have a Thanksgiving dinner.

    We decorate for Christmas after Thanksgiving. We might put the lights up outside early (but not turn them on) if we know the weather is going to be bad later on. Besides, husband gets tired of Christmas decorations quickly and I have to stragically plan my decorating so that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas sort of flow from one to another to give me my own ‘holiday decorating fix’.

    But Christmas is my favorite with all the music, lighting of our Advent candles,TV shows, sweet treats, driving around town to look at lights, candlelight church services, and family gatherings! My kids are too old now, but we used to read one story about Christmas each night beginning the first day of December.

  13. Atomic Toad
    Atomic Toad says:

    We are a fall season family. The weather, colors, hunting, food, football games, and clothing are all things I enjoy about fall. I do not like to cut it short with early Christmas decorations. I love my Christmas season too, and like Matt’s father-in-law, would rather extend it into January when everything is cold and dull.

  14. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    With my family dwindling down to only a few members who are spread over the north and south in the eastern half of the U.S. and all my children grown, it is hard to celebrate. One year because we had puppies I did not put up a tree. Will never not do that again. It was depressing. I do love the season though and I do take time to smell the pine (roses) (in spray form pine) LOL. My husband refuses to allow me to put a tree up until after Thanksgiving. Let me tell you as much as he complains about early and take it down right away after, he is the first one to agree the time for us passes so quickly (age related LOL) that all at once he wants to go to St. Augustine or some outlet mall because it is the day before Christmas eve. (My how I do ramble, Hubby hates that.) Sorry I do appologize just in case someone does read this. How do you find time to see it all?

  15. No Photo
    RubberT aka Plucky Chick says:

    My family will not allow any Christmas music to be heard until after Thanksgiving. I start thinking about Christmas right after Halloween. Our “Christmas Music Day” has grown into a wonderful annual event. It started with my childhood memories of wonderful family music gatherings in Tennessee. I wanted my kids to experience that. We began when the kids were little with piano performances and xylophones. Kids are now teenagers and adults and we have incredible vocal and instrumental performances, lots of food, lots of laughter.

    Attachment Attachment

  16. No Photo
    Helen G aka tea chick says:

    When I was growing up, ,y parents always wanted to put up the tree on Christmas Eve (they are English, and the European tradition is that the feast of christmas begins on Christmas Eve and goes for 12 days, not the December-long buildup to the 25th that we have here). We kids always begged for it earlier, and we usually succeeded getting up 3-4 days before (oooh!) . Now as an adult, I like to put it up at least 3 weeks early, but it always seems a wee bit naughty! Here in Denver, the air is so dry that you really can’t put up a natural tree more that 2 weeks early. Last year we got a fake one just so we can pit it up in early December and enjoy it longer. But I could never bring myself to put it up before Thanksgiving.

  17. No Photo
    RubberT aka Plucky Chick says:

    Tea Chick, I just sent you a message!

  18. Mayan Chick - Lilly
    Mayan Chick - Lilly says:

    I agree, it’s too early in November to start with the X-mas decorations. After Thanksgiving, it’s ok. Christmas is my favorite holiday and love to decorate my house. If halloween is a holiday…we’ll its up there to with Christmas. :)

  19. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Christmas, for me is a celebration of love, giving, and kindness! Each year, my husband & I provide presents for all the children in our home, and represent any of the campus kids (WHO LIVE @ school all year) and give them gifts also. Like Mary, we make a special birthday cake for the Christ child. On Christmas Day at noon, My husband & I open our doors, and have an open house. Family comes when they can, and friends, and we have food and celebrate.
    During the 2nd week of Dec, I take all my children caroling- yes, caroling you heard me- MOST OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY HOW POORLY I SING- but we go every year, and sing Joy to the world, and Silent Night, and of course, Rudolph & jingle Bells. We have hot cocoa after, and bring candy canes for all the neighbor children.
    I also am annually a part of the Devereux Christmas craft event, and help raise money for the special needs school.
    In January after the tree goes away, I bring out my snowmen so my house does not look empty of decorations.

  20. ChickyD aka Debra
    ChickyD aka Debra says:

    I love Christmas, but I love Advent, too…the time of anticipation of the coming of the birth. I wait until the week before Christmas before putting up the tree…ALWAYS a live one. Besides, if you wait as long as I do, they’re on SALE! I go to a tree farm so it’s really fresh.
    I collect nativities (although it’s been several years since I’ve acquired a new one)so those have to go up around the house.

    Lots and lots of music. All the CDs of John Rutter’s music. Chanticleer, Lessons and Carols. nothing pop! Lots of English choirs doing their thing.

    Baking…kolachi, spritz cookies, divinity (Mama’s is incredible!).

    And, of course, church on Christmas Eve. Several services, in fact, since I sing in the choir.

    Then it’s family time. I like keeping everything low-key and just focusing on us being together.

    This year I’ll have a very special New Year’s. I’ll be in NYC with all 3 children and their dad. Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera on New Year’s Eve…..definitely something to look forward to!

  21. ChickyD aka Debra
    ChickyD aka Debra says:

    I forgot to include one of my favorite Christmas season traditions! Shopping at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in Austin. It begins on the 11th of Dec. and concludes on the 24th. The only place where you can listen to the incredible live music Austin is famous for, shop one-of-a-kind boutiques/vendors, all while sipping a Shiner Bock!!!!! Heaven on earth, indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Chicky Bear-Tara
    Chicky Bear-Tara says:

    We don’t decorate until after Thanksgiving. In Kansas City, we have an area called the Plaza and they have a big “lighting” ceremony Thanksgiving eve. All of the stores in the Plaza decorate and put lights up. It’s beautiful! Seeing the Plaza lights always gets me in the mood. Christmas music can get me there too, if it’s not played too soon. I don’t like it that the stores start putting Christmas stuff out right after Halloween. I think that is too early and think they shouldn’t do it until after Thanksgiving. I don’t think that putting them up early will make people want to shop more or earlier than if they put them up later. People are going to do what they like…shop early or late….no matter what. Christmas has become so commercialized…the true meaning has practically disappeared. Sometimes I have a hard time getting in the mood. Shopping is a horror to me. People are rude and mean and grouchy. Christmas should not be about how much you spend or what you get. It should not be about crowded malls, no parking spaces, or the latest trend in decorating. Anyway, another thing that gets me in the mood is when our tree goes up at work. We pick “forgotten Angels” to purchase gifts for. These children ask for the basic items…socks, underwear, coats, clothes…and basic toys…a game, a doll…It warms my heart to be able to get these children something they ask for and something they don’t ask for. To me, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about.

  23. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    I agree with those that start decorating after Thanksgiving! Giving thanks is a very important thing, not to be rushed. Our tree goes up about a week after. The outside lights go up when weather permits. I love scented Christmas candles, so lots of those are bought. We all tend to buy small personal gifts, since we really don’t need alot “more” stuff. I tend to decorate with alot of natural things, they’re easy to find in the yard here in the country, in Wisc. But I do have a collection of hand-crafted Santa’s that have been purchased or gifted over the years. I’m not into flashy decorations, I know, I’m boring!! We use only white lights! Alot of my tree decorations are also hand-made. I really dislike Christmas shopping at Malls, there so impersonal, not to mention crowded & hectic (which is not Christmas feeling to me.
    Now, my kids are also, grown and both have to divide their time between 2 families, so we celebrate on Christmas Eve. When they were little we sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, before openning presents. A new Christmas book would be bought & read on the Eve before bed, I now have a wonderful collection to read to my future grand-children (if I have any). We always give gifts to children on the giving tree, Christmas is’nt Christmas without toys for children…… Well, that’s my Christmas in a nutshell “chestnut” of course.

  24. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    I don’t mind decorations because they are pretty; but, that door is a mind blower. (Not very pretty) Just says shop buy, but in the restaurant today a sign said 39 days until Christmas. OH MY. I Think I need to rethink this.

  25. No Photo
    D D Mystic Chick says:

    No Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. No music, no decorations (I decorate a bit for Thanksgiving). We have Thanksgiving here with some of my husband’s family and some friends so we like to enjoy that holiday first. Found a turkey brine recipe last year and it was the best turkey ever! Then it looks like a winter wonderland here with lots of snowpeople and frosted decorations. We watch all the movies and listen to Christmas music almost continuously to get us in the Christmas mood and to remind me that it comes too fast and I need to get moving and get things done as soon as possible! The fresh tree goes up 2 weeks before Christmas. Some of my family get together about 2-1 1/2 weeks before Christmas to make our homemade (kinda like) cheese raviolis that we put in chicken broth for Christmas dinner. It is done in a production-line type of assembly and we make over 1,000 of them. It’s a lot of work but so worth it! My brother and I take turns doing Christmas Eve for our whole family and some friends. We always do a yankee swap with the adults so it’s usually a lot of laughs. Christmas morning I get up first and pop in the oven a big pan of french toast with apples and cranberries and we eat a nice breakfast and then it’s present opening time. After that we join some of my family at my cousin’s house for dinner.

    This year my youngest daughter is going to NYC with school in early December. She will get to see it all done up for Christmas! I have always wanted to do this! She will be going to Ellis Island, too (which I also want to see)

  26. No Photo
    kitty mom jb says:

    Christmas in Chicago rocks. Every year there’s the tree lighting ceremony at the Daly Plaza and the open of the Christmas mart – German themed open air market featuring hand blown glass ornamnents, handmade crafts and German food. This year is the 96th anniversary. I cannot wait for the 100th!!! There’s gluwine – a rich deeply spiced hot red wine and children’s choir singing carols and fireworks. Our mayor LOVES his fireworks. One favorite is, sometimes, just before they hit the switch, it starts snowing. Makes me cry every time.

    I love the city at Christmas with all its beautiful lights down Michigan Ave, the wreaths on the lions in front of the Art Institute, the trees at the Museum of Science and Industry all decorated with ornaments from around the world. The Planetarium even has a special event showing what the night time would have looked like when the Christ child was born. Even the zoos get into the act – both Brookfield and Lincoln Park decorate their parks and they actually have parties to sing to the sea lions. Lunch at the Walnut room in Macys. Christmas Tea in Long Grove with the girl friends – I do it all and love it. The weekends are packed with love and activities.

    On the home front, tho, I really don’t decorate all that much. Most of the time, tt’s just Karl and me and the kitties from hell. Plus I like to keep things simple. We put white star lights in the bay window, white iceicle lights around the gutters and a simple fresh wreath on the house. ALWAYS after Thanksgiving, thank you. No gifts, my family’s all grown, just getting together and stuffing our selves to the point of explosion is a blessing in its self.

    The unmost favorite part of the holidays is walking on the first snowy night before Christmas. Every thing dark and still and quiet and white and peaceful. Looking at all the houses lit up from within and its occupants warm and safe. I always say a quiet prayer. It’s even better when I have Karl walking beside me keeping my hand warm.

  27. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I have been struggling to get into the holiday mood this year….and then I read this blog. Thank you!!!
    We get out the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving, not before. To each event, it’s own time. I do believe we all need to take time to savor each blessing, and be thankful.
    That said, I usually really love Christmas! It is probably my favorite time of the year. We are reminded of the most special blessing of all, the Birth of the Christ Child. Christians do need to celebrate this, however it is done in each family’s tradition.
    For us, I decorate the house and put up a Big tree. It is artificial, due to major allergy problems, but looks so lovely when all is done. I love putting a little touch of Christmas through every room: tree and stockings in the living room, snowmen decorations in my kitchen, candle rings with lovely scented candles in every room, wreaths on the door, and a Christmas scene set up in the entry (a glassed in separate space in front of the main door). It is already full of plants that will winter over in this little green house area, and is so easy to stage nicely. And I do like to put lights and snowman decorations in the front yard.
    I don’t want to be “bah, humbug” about Christmas. We need a little Christmas in our hearts year round. I am determined to celebrate the time we have.

    Attachment Attachment

  28. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    The first pic is my grand daughter Liz, Princess Purple Butterfly Chick, as a wise man. The other one is our tree, the first Christmas in our new home… 2008.

  29. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    We don’t do any decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving — ever — and I can’t imagine that ever changing! LOL It always seems to me that the stores and TV ads start earlier each year, which saddens me. Christmastime is Christmastime and shouldn’t be started so early that children are driving their parents crazy and everyone is so sick and tired of the decorations and music that they can’t relax and enjoy them when the true Christmas season arrives. Sigh…enough of my lecturing. LOL

    Every year we have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story” and the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. If I watch Frosty the Snowman, I always cry when he melts at the end….. :(

    We used to decorate our home big time. Now that our daughter and son-in-law host Christmas at their home, we don’t decorate as much. I’ll probably start passing along the “family decorations” to Suzanne now! When Suzanne was growing up, we always had a big family tree in the main room and she had a small tree in her bedroom. She always loved that — maybe she’ll continue doing that with her little girls.

    Right now, I’m having a really hard time getting in the holiday spirit. Hopefully, as the time draws nearer, I’ll feel more like celebrating and less like skipping it entirely this year. I think having those three precious grandgirls around will be good for me!!! They always put a smile on my face!!! :D

  30. Shannon aka Silly Chick
    Shannon aka Silly Chick says:

    EEK! Compared to all of you, I am truly the ‘scrooge’ of the bunch! I love Fall so much – the rich colors, the comfortable temps and PUMPKINS!! Christmas has always been a stressful time for me – so much is invested in the decorating, the shopping and cooking – and then it’s all over except for the clean-up – and in just one day! Guess that’s the best reason to do all that early – more time to relax and enjoy your hard work (Get busy Matt!!!) :)
    However I DO LOVE some things about the season – the smell of hot apple cider or mulled wine, pine boughs, and cinnamon ‘dough’ ornaments, my sister’s cranberry-orange relish, wearing my favorite fun holiday earrings and my special snowman sweater!
    As for the singing, Bubbly Chick, I do that, too – at the top of my lungs AFTER Roger and the neighbors go to work! And even then the dogs and cats hide under the beds – poor babies!! LOL!!

  31. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Can we have a blog for Christmas recipies?

  32. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    I love all these holiday stories –

    I too believe that stores bring on Christmas/holiday celebrations way too soon, I would prefer to wait till after Thanksgiving.

    When growing up my mom would begin shopping way early, stash stuff away then forget where she put some stuff, so we used to get some presents after X-MAS! I love the smell of pine trees, and don’t like to take trees down too quickly. We always celebrated w/ relatives every year, and had multi family gatherings w/ aunties, uncles, cousins and a huge potluck dinner w/ traditional foods and Hawaii island style foods (Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian…)
    Now, I usually celebrate w/ friends in the local Seattle area, often a friend who loves having informal food competitions (I think X-MAS is desserts) w/ her siblings, children and grandchildren, we all taste and judge the desserts! :)

  33. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    Oh and, Lorrie, ta dahhhh… I too would love a section on this blog to have holiday/seasonal recipes for year round posting please!!! :)

  34. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Good Girl! I knew you could find it! See thats why we call you Smart Chick! :D

  35. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    Count me in too!!! I love seeing the recipes, especially ones that are handed down in families. :D

  36. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    A section for recipes would be great! :D Year-round, please….. :D

  37. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    I forgot to mention earlier that for many years, instead of exchanging gifts, Bob & I have donated to charities in each others names. We each pick a charity that we would like our donation to go to. Every year, mine is an animal rescue related one. Bob’s varies, but usually goes to a women’s/children’s shelter in our city.

  38. Purple Chick aka Violet
    Purple Chick aka Violet says:

    I love Christmas…. it’s my favorite season of all…
    but… I also love the fall and Thanksgiving and I want to celebrate it first….
    We put up the tree after Thanksgiving…
    I grew up with the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas officially started when Santa appeared at the end of the parade….. what a joy it was to see Santa…. It was the beginning of the Christmas season… I still love watching the parade and awaiting the appearance of Santa… I am just a kid at heart, I guess… LOL !!!!!!

  39. Bonnie R
    Bonnie R says:

    hey lb start a blog for this and i will add the several recipies that my family expects every year. Like pffenuse (spelling again) cookies, ginger snaps with real ginger, shortbread xmas cookies and the big favorite – Penuce Pecans. yum. even if they cause me to caugh (asthma)

    (=^_^=)
    Bonnie

  40. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    (In a sing-song voice….)

    “It’s beginning to look a lot like Easter…..” ROTFLOL

    Too soon? ;)

  41. No Photo
    RubberT aka Plucky Chick says:

    Find the Ornament?

  42. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    Nooo Plucky not another “hunt” contest, LOL! I still remember how nutty we got looking for all those LB easter eggs on this site!!!

    Growing up, my family usually watched “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer”, “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. I also loved the Muppet Christmas specials too, silly as they were – :)

  43. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    There have been earlier times in my marriage (not to my current hubby), that our previous families due to being so far apart)) have celebrated 2 package holidays for Christmas. Not a good idea for all; but, we spent Thanksgiving at one home and Christmas with the other side of the family. That way grama and grampa got to see the little kids faces when opening presents. We always celebrated the birth of Christ with church and St. Nicholas as the bearer of gifts along with the 3 wisemen. I too have made a cake for baby Jesus. Due to being divorced in the middle of my life there have been economic times when I have bought Christmas presents all year at real bargain prices.
    I moved to Florida and my cousin said she was going to Christmas shopping in my closets that year.

  44. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    I really love the many ways we celebrate Christmas, as our stories show. Apart from getting together with folks whom I have in my life, I also love the festivities such as the city lights and decorated XMAS displays in many houses, and holiday baking. Another fav movie is “Miracle on 45th St” about the single parent and her child who meet a guy who plays Santa, and they find out he is really Santa – and the courtroom trial at which the whole question of Santa is debated… :)

  45. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Oh, how could I have forgotten “Miracle on 34th Street”! We watch it every year, too! Such a great scene in the courtroom, Joyce!

  46. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    Yep, that’s the one, where the guy Kris who plays Santa at Macy’s turns out to really BE Santa!

    Mom used to give us two sets of presents, one from Mom & Dad, one from Santa… and I got to noticing that Santa’s handwriting was exactly like mom’s, but I didn’t say anything, cuz I didn’t want to stop the Santa gifts! :)

  47. S r
    S r says:

    If one truly knows the real meaning, they’d know that Christ is the reason. Decorating a house simply to get the “fuzzy” feeling no matter how early or late in the season makes no difference; basically you can get that “fuzzy” feeling any other day.

  48. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    True enough, S r, but there is little to match the joy and wonder on a small child’s face when they see the decorations and the tree lit up. I guess the kid in me never out grew that either, as it brings back memories of Christmas’s past, and family times past.
    Of course we need to remember the reason for the season, and we do that in our home. We share with others, we pray, and above all we celebrate all the wonder of His birth. And we celebrate the time as a family to really appreciate each other and the opportunity to be together one more year. My family has 3 people with serious health issues, and we know not to take our time together for granted. Each day is a blessing, time shared is a blessing, and Christmas shared once again is a tremendous blessing.

  49. Shannon aka Silly Chick
    Shannon aka Silly Chick says:

    You’re so very right Happy Chick! So nice to drag out and dust off the cherished odds and ends that get put away for a whole year at the time – and for just a brief time give in to our softer side, gaze tirelessly into the twinkling lights on a tree, and be giddy with excitement over an ornament we’ve had for decades as though it were brand new!

    In a world where there’s not much “warm and fuzzy”, to quote the old song, “We Need a Little Christmas Now”!!! Everybody, Get your ‘big forks’ and come on over to my house for wassail and Gingerbread – :)

  50. Aqua Chickie Cat
    Aqua Chickie Cat says:

    What is wassail?

  51. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    ROTFLOL — Oh, Shannon! I’d love to come to your house for wassail and gingerbread — just let me dust off my big Christmas fork and I’ll be right over!!! ;)

  52. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I wanna come too!!! Maybe I could bring the whipped cream–real of course! ;)

  53. Mommykat Bubbly Chick
    Mommykat Bubbly Chick says:

    Well then ya’ll are gonna need hot cocoa… so Im there!!! ;)

  54. Purple Chick aka Violet
    Purple Chick aka Violet says:

    Sounds yummy… count me in too !!!!!

  55. No Photo
    Matts Mom says:

    Looking forward to setting up my village with you and Deidra.

  56. Shannon aka Silly Chick
    Shannon aka Silly Chick says:

    I just LOVE you guys!!

  57. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    What a world of traditions this group of beaders represent. It is wonderful to read about all of them. I’m a firm believer in celebrating each holiday at it own time. I want Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December.

    When I was still teaching we spent the whole month of December celebrating the various holidays. Even though I taught in a small private school I always had a wonderful mix of nationalities in my class. We began on Dec.1 making an Advent chain and learning a little bit about Advent from the secular point of view. We celebrated Posada, Lucia Day, Hanakkah Christmas, Kwanza, Boxing Day and New Years day. It was a part of a social studies curriculum I planned and taught for many years. The main idea was to see how people from all over celebrated the Winter Holidays. We found there were so many thing in common no matter what the holiday. All of them are celebrated with gatherings of family and friends, special food, candles and lights, and gift giving. It was a multicultural approach for a multicultural class room. However, at home we celebrated in a more traditional way… a gathering of friends and family, special foods, candles and lights and gift giving.

    Now that my son is an adult and my husband is deceased I have embarked on a new set of traditions. My son’s significant other has a size able family and the past 3 years I have celebrated Christmas with them. I no longer decorate the house but I still bake up a storm and share a special Finish sweet bread made with cardamom with my neighbors.

    Gee, I sure am long winded. :D

  58. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    Oooops. Misspelled Finnish. Sorry about that.

  59. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Well I procrastinated long enough I put my decoration tubs on the screen porch from the shed. Took my 3 1/2 ft. artificial tree in and pulled it from its black trash bag. I sat it on the little round table so it looks almost 5 ft tall. It had lights wrapped on it already. That is as far as I have gotten. Maybe I’ll put decorations on it Sunday. LOL

  60. Beadlady3 aka Cindy
    Beadlady3 aka Cindy says:

    When I was a kid, my parents didn’t put up the tree until 2-3 days before Xmas. I think it had to do with the fact that there were so many of us (11 then, #12 came later) that they waited to get a good discount on the tree! haha! After we were a little older, it became our tradition to put up the tree on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, Dec. 6, and take it down on Epiphany (Jan. 6 or so). All of us have an ornament with our name on it, so as we visit Mom & Dad’s we get to place it on the tree. Also, they hide a “pickle” ornament on the tree and if you find it there is a special treat (usually a package of cookies!). The biggest thing is that we all still get together – all 12 of us kids, our spouses, and our own kids! When we all make it, there are over 50 of us! Matt – next time you head towards Cincinnati, stop by the south side of Dayton & say hi!

  61. whimsy girl
    whimsy girl says:

    ;)

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