Last week -- on Tuesday, November 1, to be precise -- Hubs and I went into Kohl's to return a few things. The second we hit the door, I cocked my head to the side in disbelief, then looked at Hubs and asked, "Is that REALLY Christmas music I'm hearing?"
Before he could respond, the cashier at the front of the store quickly verified that it was, in fact, holiday music pouring forth from the speakers. Walking in a Winter Wonderland, in case you're wondering. Now, it wasn't exactly balmy outdoors, but it certainly didn't qualify as a winter wonderland by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, as we made our way to the back of the store, I wondered about first my reaction, then the cashier's. Why is it, exactly, that hearing holiday music bothers us so much? I don't go into Hollister complaining about their soundtrack, or whine about a restaurant's dinner music, even though I sometimes feel the need to shout over it.
So why the holiday music? Is it because it's the "thing to do"? Are we just too cool to profess our giddiness about the season? Have we let commercialism strip every bit of enjoyment out of the season of "peace on earth and good will toward men"?
I honestly don't know. What I do know is that this year that instead of complaining about the early onset of the season, I'll embrace it. Rather than the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas being one frantic bolt for the finish line known as New Year's, I hope to sit back and enjoy the time. I want it to be more about people and less about presents; more quality and less money. I'd like to enjoy the families that we enjoy socializing with, but don't find the time to due to busy schedules. And maybe, just maybe, I'll even figure out a way to sign a few Christmas cards per evening than give myself carpal tunnel from one four-hour marathon signing session.
Maybe this weekend we'll go out to tag our Christmas tree, or perhaps we'll get started on those gift-in-a-jars that we've been planning. Even better? I'll dig out the Christmas music and get my own head start on the season, right here at home.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Ramadan, or just wondering what the fuss is all about, why not share with the rest of your military tribe what you're doing this year to kick off the season right? After all, who couldn't use a little more cheer?