We are now entering the time of purgatory. Note it is only Mid-September. The Dogwoods are still green, with maybe a tinge of pink. The stores of full of crates of orange, white, and green pumpkins. The candy aisles in the stores are over flowing with jumbo size bags of treats. Big box stores sport shelves topped with everything inflated from Dracula and his Coach, a Giant Pumpkin complete with a Ghost (albeit friendly) coming out of the top, Ghouls with Glowing Eyes, and Witches Stirring their Brews.
We are still 6 weeks away from All Hallow's Eve, and the world seems to be all about orange. Or so it seems. However, just a day or so ago I saw green and red. Say it's not so, not Christmas. Not yet!
But alas, once again, we can have no peace. If the yule tide season starts showing its face in September, do we accept that Christmas consumes a quarter of the year.
I'll admit the dirty dishes from Thanksgiving have just been put in the dishwasher when I start pulling out my Christmas Tree stand. "Black" Friday means "shopping" to me. However, that is only shopping for a Christmas tree. As a lapsed Episcopalian, I know I should hold out, restrain myself, until Christmas Eve when it is truly time to decorate the yuletide tree. (And keep it up until epiphany.) However when I consider the investment I have made over the years in ornaments and the time it takes to properly trim the tree, is it worth the effort for less than 4 or 5 weeks? In one word - No. The time to enjoy a trimmed tree is however many days there are between Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
In my mind, September through December is a triathlon of holidays. And those 3 holidays should all have their moment to shine, all in their proper time . . . and proper order. Halloween, the "pagan" celebration on the eve of All Saints is supposed to come first. 3 or 4 weeks later, Thanksgiving should follow as a day of thanks, a celebration of family and friends, not to mention the feast. Then a month or so later, we celebrate Christmas.
As an aside, some feel Christmas is a lost soul. The day that is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Christ, has gotten lost in the expectation of the Jolly Ol'e Elf, irreverent songs (ie such as "Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer"), and commercialism on steroids. In my mind, Christmas is what one makes it. For practicing Christians, it is still all about the birth of the Christ Child, a time of carols, the creche, and services. For most of us, it is the joy of friends and family as we gather together. It is a time of remembrance of past Christmases, seeing the wonder in a child's eyes, and the exchange of gifts. And, last but not least, to many, it is a time of parties and frivolity. To each their own. But, I digress.
The bottom line is that the holidays are what one makes of them. It our choice what and how we celebrate. But, whatever one chooses, or not, there is an order to the universe and that includes the Gregorian calendar. It doesn't matter how one looks at it, October comes first followed by November, and finally December.
As an aside Hanukkah falls in here also. However, I am embarrassed to say I do not know enough about the holiday to comment on it. Perhaps some research is in the cards.