Once upon a time stores did not stock Halloween candy in August, Christmas candy in September and business windows were not Holiday-themed prior to the first day of fall. Awww … the good ‘ol days.
Sadly, this is a topic which is not foreign to most or has not been written about on multiple fronts. Yet, here were are, me penning a piece yet again on how we need to slow down and stop anticipating holidays long before their time.
I’m all about upholding traditions, most especially in the way of Holiday memories, over decorated stores however, is one I could easily do without.
Recently there was a conversation in our household as I had to remind my children of the Santa rule. As Harvest décor finds its way around our home, catalogs fill our mailbox and commercials of ‘must have’ items take over the television, the Christmas list becomes inevitable.
Yes, it’s exciting. I mean who doesn’t love the idea of writing down a thing or two you’d like to have and then having a jolly man in a red suit leave it at your home. It’s magic. And for my little believers a special piece of the wonderment many of us celebrate as part of Christmas tradition.
But that too has a timeline.
In mid-September my youngest began rattling off thoughts of items she might ask for from Santa. I enjoy listening to how their minds work, how they rationalize what might make for a good Santa present and weighing out if a gift is too large or too small. As much as I enjoy it and as much as I love the thought process, September (in my opinion) is too early.
So a few years back I adopted a new ‘tradition,’ guideline or rule if you so choose.
An idea that came to me when my youngest would glide through conversations from dressing as Tinkerbell to if she would get a new scooter from Santa.
Anyone with or ever around young children would know this conversation can and was incessant. Hence, placing my mommy brain on overload.
Add to that the ever popular, mystical and wonderful (insert wink here) Elf on the Shelf and it’s enough to send a parent into a permanent position under their bed in a never ending game of Hide and Seek.
No talk of Santa until November 1. Thoughts on giving to others, always open game, but for ourselves … Not before Halloween.
Fortunately my children also despise the early arrival of holidays in stores, so I used this to support my case.
‘Why be in such a hurry?’ I asked when speaking of their Wish List. As we spoke, I expanded on the idea of living in the moment. Enjoying Halloween month and not letting it slip by while focusing on ‘things’ we want from Santa.
We don’t get days back, I reminded them.
That’s truly what this is about. As I watch friends count down until Christmas (their proclaimed favorite day) on one front, yet complain of our children growing too fast on the other … I wonder. Is this a good rule, tradition or guideline just for children or one we too should adopt.
Before I know it my children won’t want me around on Halloween, they’ll be busy building more memories with friends and some with family. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
So for now, we’ll continue discussing pumpkin carving ideas, what type of candy they hope to get through neighborhood begging and what shoes will look best with a Hot Dog costume.
As for Santa, the Elf, the tree and anything close to a personal Wish List … that’s simple … not just yet.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.