The “holiday season” (aka when stores start pressuring all of mankind to make holiday-related purchases) started the earliest that I have ever seen it this year. My local K-Mart was the first place that I noticed it, when Halloween and Christmas items hit the store simultaneously in September. Gabriel enjoyed looking at the holiday yard decorations placed in a prominent location within the store, but it was the only good thing about having Christmas decorations out so early.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing Christmas trees and decorations from right after Thanksgiving/the beginning of Advent until a little after Epiphany. I’m looking forward to looking at Christmas decorations with Gabriel later this year, and possibly even taking him to this store, but Christmas trees in September are too much for me.
With all this having been said, my mother’s family will be having their annual Christmas gathering this weekend. The reasoning is a little complicated, but primarily deals with the difficulty of gathering my grandparents’ nine children, their children, and their grandchildren in the same place, at the same time, in the midst of the holiday season. Approximately a decade ago now, this Christmas gathering was held in early October because my grandparents were going to be out of the state for Christmas. People wore shorts to that Christmas gathering, and even though all the signs were there (Christmas tree, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, etc.), it didn’t feel like Christmas. I kind of expect this “Christmas party” to be the same. I will attend and enjoy seeing my extended family. I may utter the phrase “Merry Christmas” if prompted. It will be the first of several Christmas gatherings this year. Despite it not feeling quite right to be celebrating Christmas so early, holiday season 2008, here I come.