My calendar today says that today is November 22nd, 33 days to go until we reach Christmas. (Today is also the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.) Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, and still is.
But in my mind, we still haven't reached the Christmas season yet.
These days you see Christmas ads and all kinds of Christmas stuff going up in early November, and even a few of the radio stations here in New York are playing Christmas songs now. (One station in particular, Lite-FM, goes "all-Christmas" a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. That's a bit extreme in my mind.) As far as Christmas songs go, I can listen to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" album by the Vince Guaraldi Trio at any time of year, even if it's 100 degrees outside.
I have always believed that there is one signature event that kicks off Christmas, and until it happens, the Season of Giving hasn't started yet. That is when Santa Claus makes his triumphant appearance down Broadway in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (pictured).
Everybody tries to get the jump on Christmas (and I'm waiting for the day when we start seeing ads for it on the Fourth of July), but my mind just can't focus on it until Mr. Kringle shows up on Thanksgiving Day, and that is this coming Thursday. Then I can get my Christmas shopping going.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday season. BTW, I don't mind if people say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," as it encompasses the two other major holidays at the conclusion of the year: New Year's and Hanukkah. When I worked in retail, I always said "Happy Holidays" during the season because I always wanted to be polite to those I didn't know who might not celebrate Christmas, and take the "safe route."
But I do mind if I hear things like "holiday tree" instead of "Christmas tree." Substituting "holiday" for "Christmas" in things like that that are strictly Christmas-oriented because people are afraid of "offending" nonbelievers is just political correctness at its worst. (I never got that "Merry Christmas" is "offensive." It's a season of joy and giving. If you find that "offensive," I suggest you go to a place where Christmas displays are barred.)
So whenever it starts for you, I hope you all have a great time.