Disclaimer: this is not a “bah-humbug”, Scrooge-type rant.
I like Christmas. I like buying presents and playing silly tunes. I like ordering the turkey and debating how to cook the ham.
I love the tree and the decorations and the anticipation and excitement in my children’s eyes every day as they open up the tiny little windows of their advent calendars.
I like it all, I really do.
I just like it in December.
Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team have a frank and honest discussion about Christmas time. Post continues after audio.
You know December — that month at the end of the year? The very last one? The one that isn’t here for at least another TWO WEEKS?
But what I see happening around me right now, in November, makes me nervous and tense. Every time I log onto Facebook or Instagram I am inundated with happy jolly snaps, glaringly defying the laws of the calendar.
I see the hashtag #Christmastreeisup, the twinkling lights, the pretty baubles, the festive joy oozing from the screen and the captions.
“The Christmas tree is up. Is it too early?”
“We put up the tree. #tooearly”
Well, here’s the answer we are all too polite to give: YES. Yes, it is too early.
It’s not Christmas, despite what the department stores would have you believe. It’s November. Just plain ol’ ordinary November. Not summer, just spring, not Thanksgiving, as we don’t live in America. Just November.
The problem with all these early tree putter-uppers is that they make me anxious. They make me feel like my life is being slowly condensed, eaten away. Time shrinks when you start celebrating Christmas in November.
You are making my November irrelevant.
I want to reclaim November as a month of plain old boring life. Life before the panic of December. Life with normal school days and regular routines and regular old working days. Life of homework and after school sport and regular old dinners, a bit of TV, some time online and bed.
Life before Christmas parties and end of school picnics and teacher’s presents. Life before champagne headaches and Kris Kringles and frantic Christmas shopping.
When you put up your tree in November you send me into a spin. Has the year really gone that quickly? Is over already? What’s happening to my life? Last time I looked my children were settling into their new classes and now they are saying good-bye to them?
My kids see this early Christmas cheer and work themselves into a lather of pre-Christmas hysteria.
They want to write their Santa letters and hang their stockings. They talk endlessly of reindeers, and presents and are singing Christmas carols in the bath. They ask me when their advent calendars can be bought and if we can go see Santa and it’s all too much too soon.
I want to slow it down. I want to pace myself and keep things in the proper calendar months.
Australia Day in January. Valentine’s Day in February. Easter in March (or April). Halloween in October. Melbourne Cup at the very start of November. Then, not until the first or second week of December does the Christmas season start.
Can we all agree to that?
Put your tree up in December. Let’s leave November to those of us who just want to embrace the ordinariness of life before it’s overrun by twinkling lights and Santa hats.