I Want to be First!
My neighbors have pissed me off. They don’t know it, of course. They were just going about their business, doing things their way, and having fun getting into the spirit of things. There was no law broken or Home Owner’s Association code violated, although next year, I think I’ll try to get an amendment passed, so this doesn’t happen again. The girls think I’m silly, and quickly point it out to me, but I’m serious. This is no laughing matter.
What did my neighbors do that has me so up in arms? They put their Christmas lights up before I had a chance to get mine up. I know! You’d think they would understand that when it comes to decorating for Santa’s arrival, I am the Grand Marshall of outdoor decorations. They are to follow my timetable and not rush things the way the department stores do by shoving Christmas down our throats while it’s still bikini weather outside. Obviously, they didn’t get the memo that I had the girls attach to all the neighbors’ doors, and while we were sitting on the back porch enjoying a slice of pecan pie, the night was lit up with a burst of holiday light. The girls ooo-ed and ahhh-ed. I fumed. It just wasn’t fair! I’m to be first.
The girls make me treat Thanksgiving and Christmas as separate holidays, which to me they aren’t, and so I am forced to hold back on smothering the house with holiday colors. Sometimes, I’m able to sneak it in after the Thanksgiving dishes have been washed, or, at least, get the outdoor decorations up while they’re inside busy cooking and forgetting to check on me. Quite often they tell me it’s like wondering why the kids are so quiet. Once everything is up, however, they can’t necessarily make me take it all down again. Right? Well, that’s my hope anyway. Besides, I usually make the kids help me, so they’re out of the girls’ way. You would think that would be a positive for me in their eyes, but all I hear is, “Really, Robbie? Thanksgiving isn’t even over, yet.”
This year, however, I waited, and the neighbors got the jump on me. They were ready for the Christmas season to begin and Thanksgiving to be over. The department stores were the same way, which they proved by moving Black Friday up to Blacker Thursday. They are two separate holidays to the retailers and giving thanks doesn’t do much for their profit levels. They don’t want people to think of what they have for which they are grateful, but rather what they want that they don’t really need and should go out and buy. The lists are made and passed around and the stress of piling presents under the tree weighs us down.
The truth is if it were up to me, I would begin decorating for Christmas the same time I took the Halloween decorations down. I know, your sense of keeping the holidays straight is raising its hackles, and you feel the way the girls do, but to me Thanksgiving and Christmas have always shared the last two months of the year. They aren’t two separate holidays in my eyes, but one giant celebration, and if they are enjoyed in the right frame of mind, then the one should influence the other. Our sense of gratefulness for what we have should temper our list of what we want.
I want to be first to string up the lights, because I am thankful, very thankful, for what I have, and I would rather focus on what I can give. I love the holidays, and the joyous decorations that go with them. I don’t want to wait to begin the celebration. I want to be the first, the first to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.
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