I confess to having a particularly difficult time getting into the Christmas season. I have several sound reasons for this “Bah! Humbug!” feeling.
One is Thanksgiving came too early this year. Oh, I know Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, but does Nov. 22 sound like a fourth Thursday to you? But since November began on a Thursday, Thanksgiving this year was the earliest it could possibly be. I’m sure retailers like this early Thanksgiving, but I don’t.
In addition to the early date, it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving to me this year because my wife and I were visiting her family in Lincoln, Neb., instead of spending the holiday with our own children, their spouses and our grandchildren like we usually do.
I like my wife’s family, I really do, and the Thanksgiving feast I had with my in-laws was great. We decided to make the round-trip drive to Nebraska for the third time since June, only after asking our children if they would mind not having our traditional family feast this year. Because they knew we were going because my wife’s 94-year-old mother is battling a serious illness and it is difficult for a daughter to be 900 miles from her mother during such times, they all agreed to make other plans for Thanksgiving.
We had a great week in Nebraska. Since my wife spent most of her time with her mother and sisters, I spent the week as a couch potato at the home of my wife’s sister and brother-in-law. I read a lot, spent many hours on the computer and even watched a little TV.
However, because we were in Nebraska, my wife and I were unable to do our traditional Thanksgiving unfolding of the Christmas tree with the kids and grandkids this year. We have an artificial tree, and either on the day before or the day after Thanksgiving, I bring the tree down from the attic and unfold the branches and place them on the tree’s center post while we play Christmas music on the CD player.
After the tree is up, the kids and grandkids come over to decorate it. Once decorated, my wife serves eggnog and we all cheer when the tree lights come on.
However, the main reason why I have having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year is the same reason I dread Christmas every year: I intensely dislike shopping, and December is the only time of the year I cannot avoid it, since my wife’s birthday also is in December.
I almost said I hate to shop, but that’s not true. I actually enjoy grocery shopping and probably do 90 percent of the grocery shopping in our household. That’s because I like food, while I could care less about clothes, toys, tools and most other merchandise. I can’t think of a thing I want for Christmas
Fortunately, my wife does not share my dislike for shopping. In fact, my wife and her sister rushed off on Thanksgiving night to get an early start on the Black Friday sales. They returned a few hours later complaining about how crowded the stores were. Well, what did they expect?
When I arose Friday morning, three teenage girls were sleeping on the living room floor. They had gone shopping at 3 a.m., and my niece (mother of two of them) had opted to let them sleep at her mom’s house instead of driving the 20 miles to her house.
Not in my wildest imagination can I imagine a sale that would be so good that it could get me to get up in the middle of the night and battle the mobs. What some enjoy, I loathe.
Sometime in the next week or two I will force myself to got shopping for my wife’s birthday and Christmas presents. If I’m lucky it will take me less than a hour to do it, and it will be in the daytime, not at 5 a.m.
But to each his own. If you enjoy endangering your life to get a great deal, then go for it. Just leave me out of it.
I am sure I will finally get in the Christmas spirit on Dec. 9. That’s when our church choir will be doing its cantata. There’s nothing like a good cantata to lift me out of the “Bah! Humbug!” feeling and into the reason for the season.
JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.
com or (606) 326-2649.