The question this week is “When do we decorate for Christmas?” The answer:
After Thanksgiving weekend, and not a day before.
A regional radio station starts playing all-Christmas music before Halloween. I suppose they are trying to get retail audiences, and although that station is set on our car radios, those buttons don’t get pushed by me for over a month…not until after the Thanksgiving weekend.
Food, friends and family are so important to me, (in reverse order), that it is what I named my other blog. I cook all the time but do certain, special and fancy foods for every holiday, and I decorate as well. I did more when my sons were very young, but still, Fall and Halloween decorations go up in October. The decorations that look like Autumnal leaves and scarecrows stay up, but on November first, the jack-o-lanterns that can be turned around then get to face the walls so they look like plain pumpkins, and the ghosts , skeletons, spiders and the like come down , while turkeys, Indians, Pilgrims and cornucopias go up. I have family in, often houseguests who stay for days, so the feasting goes on and not until Saturday or Sunday do they leave, so no sooner than Monday do all the Fall holiday decorations come down to make room for the Christmas ones.
And Christmas gets put up very soon afterward, because it is a lot of work for only a few weeks.
That is when the Christmas music is allowed to come on as well. In fact, I have a number of favorite Christmas CDs that get played a lot…and the radio station that I had been avoiding gets put on not only in the car, but on my radio at home while I decorate, wrap presents and cook.
Nothing Christmasy comes down in our house until Epiphany, the celebration of the Wise Men’s arrival. This used to always be celebrated on January 3rd, but most churches celebrate it two Sundays after Christmas.
My mother used to leave her decorations up for a long time. Once, she had the tree up for so long that she hurriedly took it down when she realized it was almost Palm Sunday! However, one year she left a ‘spray’, (boughs of evergreens tied with wide, red ribbon and sprayed with artificial snow), up until the following November, when she replaced it with a new one.
For whatever reason, it has become a tradition for me to play George C. Scott’s version of A Christmas Carol while I decorate the tree, which will probably happen this weekend, since I am running a bit behind and my granddaughters will be here to help. I pulled all the boxes of Christmas decorations to the front of the garage the other day when I put the boxes of Fall decorations out there. No matter how much I check and double-check, inevitably something from any and every holiday gets left out! And, looking at me as I write this, smiling hopefully, is a darling pair of scarecrows on a stand with two big wooden pumpkins, who did not make it into a box with the others.
Fellas, don’t feel bad. There is bound to be a Santa, and elf or even a Baby Jesus who won’t make it back the Christmas boxes before they get put into the garage in about five weeks!