It's beginning to look a lot like...

subtropixOctober 5, 2012


Despite humid temps near 80 f., local big chain stores putting up X-trees, decorations, and playing carols-- pity the poor workers who have to listen to this all day long before Halloween or even Columbus Day. Used to enjoy the holiday season, now it's one of one of my least favorite times of the year. Bah and Humbug I say now.

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Holidays are for children. We don't celebrate any of them, unless it's a holiday we'd spend with the grandkids. It's all a big commercial/consumer scam, if you ask me.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:34PM
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I disagree totally. Although I shun all the commercial nonsense I love the holidays, all of them. Our special family holidays are Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.

We are a close family but a large and busy one. The holidays give us a chance to get together, share and enjoy each other in a celebratory way.

I'm having 25 of my family and in-laws here this weekend, for the entire weekend!!! As much work as it is I love it! I love our family traditions, I love their smiles, I love seeing how much the babies have grown, I love the discussions, the games, the fact the cousins get to see each other as we are spread out geographically.

Bring it on!!!!

PS: I also will love Monday afternoon when they are all gone!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:49PM
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We're having a few flurries now. Real mood setter!

And yes, I have seen aisles and aisles of Halloween stuff slowly losing ground to the usual array of uninspiring Christmas shlock. Little teeny teeny tiny display for Thanksgiving. Some pretty angry looking turkeys staring back at you from paper plates and napkins.

Calls to mind Sarah Palin's turkey pardoning video with another hapless bird being unceremoniously sliced and diced in the background.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Chase, I have nothing against holidays--quite the contrary. My OP was aimed squarely at Christmas.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:16PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I am with Chase. The holidays cannot get her soon enough for me. I have many friends that we save this time to get together. Everyone is so busy all year with work, and responsibilities. Those that have jobs get extra days off so everyone can get together.

I am putting my Halloween decor up tomorrow. When that comes down Nov will be Thanksgiving and Christmas decor up. It takes me a long time to get my light display on the house.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:51PM
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What does Halloween or Thanksgiving have to do with Christmas? Most people, even ardent Christans, do not really want to hear 'Oh Holy Night' in early October.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Does this mean the war on Christmas was lost?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Hey! I could go for an early Christmas! Especially, this year. November, early November...I'm thinkin' around the 6th would be cool!

I mean, hey, I don't need a White Christmas.. early will do! ;0

E ~~~~~~~~~~~ with tongue firmly in cheek... sorta.. ok, maybe I'm just being cheeky ;)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:46PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

What does Halloween or Thanksgiving have to do with Christmas? Most people, even ardent Christans, do not really want to hear 'Oh Holy Night' in early October.

It is my kick off to my decorating madness. I madly decorate for each holiday. I will not start singing 'Oh Holy Night until after we eat the turkey. I do not get any halloween kids any more but I use to love to hand out treats and in later years I gave them a halloween card with money.

I started getting fewer and fewer kids and I was eating the candy so I started giving money. I still do if I get a stray kid knock on the door. The kids were so cute. I set up a haunted house once and my daughter and friends had a halloween party the night before.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Nice thread.

In anticipation of a little party planned for Sunday afternoon, I stopped by today for a few fall dried flowers to update the door wreaths.

It is seldom that I frequent these types of stores these days, having accumulated a good stash of holiday items through the years.

I couldn't believe it when every aisle was filled with Christmas decorations; the fall decorations were relegated to a corner, everything marked 40% off. Of course we are less than three weeks into fall.

I did purchase a very cool leather grey wolf mask this week from a little gallery. I'll never need another Halloween mask--this one should last for years. We seldom have more than a few trick or treaters, although I usually host a neighborhood Halloween neighborhood party and serve Green Chile Monterey Jack Cheese Soup and cornbread, a 26 year tradition. Tomorrow is Halloween and Fall Decorating Day.
It should take all of about 22 minutes.

Every day is special, but particularly holidays for me.
It is a time to appreciate and celebrate living, family, friends, memories, and fun--regardless of the "holiday."

I hope after this election people that are now so upset about politics can let some of the discordance and strife go and enjoy the upcoming holidays.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:14AM
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Are you kidding? I told my husband the day after the 4th of July, there would be Halloween stuff out and I was right. And the fall decoration are so passe's all Xmas.

Times have changed so much in my lifetime. When I was first married, I'd put an bunch of Indian corn and a pumpkin on the porch. Today Target has about five aisles with all Halloween stuff. Very cool stuff, and if I had kids, I'd probably cave and buy some. But the scrooge that I am, I go to grandson's town to see him and his friends and the little kids. It's very festive, and my house remains dark.

I used to go thru tons of candy at my last suburban house, but this old house is surrounded by a picket fence with hand painted signs..'Shut Gate, Dogs out'. It's guaranteed no one shows up, and I'm left with all the candy , so I just leave.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:44AM
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The thread seems aimed more at the commercialization of Christmas and other holidays, where consumers are bombarded with a plethora of items related to various holidays, way before the actual date arrives. Every year, it seems like these items are presented for consumerism earlier and earlier, too many items disposable junk manufactured in China. This whole trend places a tackiness on such holidays, the meaning behind them lost in an avalanche of plastic and plastic packaging.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:26AM
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Turns out the big box stores have it right afterall!

Chag Same'ach and Merry Christmas!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jesus' birthday

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:08AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

I live alone and family is far away. I enjoyed holidays for the family and food. I miss my Grandma's rotisserie chicken and brisket.

I love seeing how other families enjoy their holidays, although sometimes I observe that the women are very stressed and pressured.

So I don't "celebrate." I observe and, if possible, eat the season's meals.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:39AM
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Oh yeah, family, food and togetherness, that's what Christmas is all about. Sure there is an aspect of commercialism, but noone has to buy (ha, ha!) into it. No plastic in this home, we're 100% au natural ;)

Make your own meaningful traditions, like elly_nj's Grandmother's chicken and brisket.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:22AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

This whole trend places a tackiness on such holidays, the meaning behind them lost in an avalanche of plastic and plastic packaging.

Jodik, I agree. I have changed my best friends mind when I showed her how I do the holidays.

She never had good holidays because of the way her family handled the holidays. When I involved her in my holidays celebrations she started to enjoy them.

Some people hate to shop and do it because they feel it is a duty. They try to match dollar for dollar what the other person spends or try to out do the other person and on and on we go. Retailers love it too. I do not let Retailers drive me I drive me.

I only buy for people I know and I give what I think you want. I shop all year. If I see something I think someone has talked about mentioned in conversation. I pick it up so when their birthday or christmas, anniversary comes I only have to wrap and go.

Use holiday time to tip service people. They do not make a lot of money and it is my way of saying thank you. That is a set amount you know when Christmas is it comes the same day every year. Save and plan. I do the same thing with my cooking for the holidays. You know it is coming cook things ahead of time and freeze.

It is all about control and plan. Do not try to do everything at once and close to the holiday so you have time to enjoy the time.

I would not want to be young and starting out because the stuff that is out there now is junk. But like Demi I have such a collection the only thing I started doing is replacing the more energy efficient lights.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Was hot & humid here yesterday most of the stores are still big on HALLOWEEN since it's a huge holiday here in NYC. Another week I'll start smelling the disgusting vanilla cinnamon potpourris filled with cinnamyl acetate (arrrgh) or worse (2-Methylundecanal) makes that plastic centerpiece smell just like balsam fir! That stuff gives me a headache & some places pipe it through their cutsey boo boutiques!
The city will fill up with tourists unfortunately many of them say lets play it lose & make no arrangements ahead of time! In my business that spells lots of disappointed children who think mom and dad are going to pull a rabbit out of their hat and get them great tickets to a fun show. It hasn't changed in all the years I've been doing it. The big conspiracy of "If I offered you more money you'd get me the best seats in town". You can't say those were purchased by some broker or granny in AUGUST because you never tell the customer how stupid their statements are. Our window agents are adept at avoiding answering the bait questions.
There will however be great food all over town MNNNN & terrific ingredients! The streets will be filled with entire forests of cut trees waiting to wither in sauna like NY steam heated apartments. There will be a small one in our lobby along with a menorah. Even with a big bowl of water in a few days it will be contorted like a Cirque de Soleil acrobat from all the dry heat.

It's good to see kids excited by it the ones who haven't turned into the IWANNA, IWANNA, IWANNA terrorists.

Christmas eve to me is still cod fish in an onion bechamel sauce over boiled potatoes. I think I'm the only one in the family that still honors my parents tradition Christmas eve meal and even then I don't make it every year. Edd's a Vegetarian. Christmas day is all about a good Ravioli, good bread, and Panetone Bread pudding from a local store that makes all their pasta on the premises & has for over 100 years.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:18AM
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We get together for the major holidays, gather as a family for dinner, and spend some time together. We don't make a production out of decorating anything, and the only gifts exchanged are given to the children. Adults are just happy that we can spend the time together as a family.

The myriad holidays that have been invented, the commercialism involved... it's just too much. None of it is necessary, and we refuse to get caught up in all that corporate glitz and disposable crap.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:19PM
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I don't decorate for Christmas much, anymore. I have lots and lots of decorations that just stay in the box. I have a lot of hand-made wood German ornaments that I bought in Germany that are pretty expensive now, I think, but I don't use them anymore. Several reasons - we don't entertain like we did a few years ago, it's getting to be a lot more work as we grow older, and we have two cats that I haven't even dared to see what they would do. We got them as kittens 2 years ago and had just a tiny tree (with some of my German ornaments on it) that they just couldn't leave alone. Last year, I put a lighted tree on the deck, so we had some color and the cats couldn't get to it. This year, I am going to try to put up the large tree and put lights on it (I'm hoping they have left their "kitten days" behind). If they leave it alone, I'll decorate the rest of it. We have had cats for over 30 years and none of our prior cats have ever bothered our decorations. But these two (one is a mostly Maine Coon that is always into something) are altogether different. A smile a minute, but like toddlers in the house.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Jodi - we do the same thing. Presents are for the kids only. We don't do Christmas. We do Chanukah.

Now that the "kids" are older (DD is 26, nephew and niece are 25 and 23), I just give them AmEx gift cards. Makes them happy 'cause they can get what they want. Makes me happy 'cause I don't have to stress about what to get them. DS is 11 and he still gets actual presents.

My daughter just said to me the other day -- when are you going to stop giving me Chanukah presents? It's really not necessary, she said. Ha! I told her probably when she has kids. Then it will be all about them and not her!

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Both my family and DH's family all come here. I take off the whole week and spend the whole week cooking and baking. I usually bake around 10 or more different desserts! It's a ton of work, but I really love it. I'm hoping DD's fiance's family will come this year too. He has come for the last few years (thank goodness! I hate the idea of her not coming home for Thanksgiving, but it doesn't look like that will happen. She loves Thanksgiving at home). Even my nieces's boyfriend came last year. Hoping he will come this year too. I just love that they all still want to come here and not go to their significant others' houses. It tells me they love it and it makes all the hard work worth it!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Thanksgiving is truly the family holiday for most people. Xmas has gotten so crazy. We go to daughter's house and the other parents come down, and it's the best holiday. Christmas is nice now that there are no presents except for the two kids. We used to go nuts until we came to our senses. It was just overload. It's much less anxiety producing when you don't have to hit the malls. I certainly don't "need" anything and actually neither do my kids. If we want something, we buy it ourselves. I don't put up a live tree anymore either. Just too much work since I love gigantic Frazier firs and then I spent countless hours decorating and then even more hours dissembling two weeks later. A waste of time when there are not little kids living here. Like Dockside..too many animals to create havoc with a tree.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:31AM
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I love decorating the house for Autumn. I use living pieces of plants (love my green magnolia leaves just barely dusted with flour and then scattered here and there with great care) and items we collected all through our married years - great sentimental value attached as they remind us of wonderful family/friends moments in time and inspire wonderful "remember when?" conversations.

Like Demi, I always have a wreath going on, on both sides of my front door - I especially love collecting colorful fall leaves from all over town - enormous pine cones, tiny little pine cones I've collected (and debugged) all from our camping trips deep into the National forests,lots of greenery that gets placed and replaced as needed though the Christmas season - and use that sort of thing to make small and simple Autumn and Winter arrangements here and there, I love it all and enjoy the process of doing it all.
For each holiday, I simply add a few holiday specific decorations to my Autumn and Winter lightly themed home.

I already have my size assortment pumpkins arranged by the front door steps and I've put out my large plain glass oblong platter filled with assorted gourds which are so wonderful and interesting, which came from the garden of a close friend. It's rests on the longest kitchen counter - looks like Autumn harvest and warms the kitchen.

I certainly decorate specifically for Christmas - we put on the music and enjoy the whole process - the fireplace mantle is my favorite decorating moment of the year - but we always put up a tree, ornamented with tiny treasures we collected from around the world - put bowls filled with cheap colorful plain glass round ornaments here and there, baskets of greenery and pine cones etc. - lots of no scent beeswax candles which are lit every evening, lots of live greenery - yes, certainly a few old cheap plastic krwap that has family stories attached to them -

-and then I bake like mad for the neighbors all through the month of December.

We don't spend much in the way of gifts anymore - if we need some things we start holding on to them when bought around this time - to be wrapped and placed under the tree come Dec 1st - but we both are content with what we have now we want for nothing.
He wants his archery bow restrung and I want a fresh new bottle of Chanel 5#, the only scent I've ever worn and wear every day - and two new pair of black ballet style dearform slippers, which I live in when at home.

We just enjoy the whole atmosphere of the season and the little family traditions we started and have kept all our married lives, we enjoy the season.

People tend to be a lot more charitable, both from their hearts and from their wallets, from the time of right before Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas -

-I treasure the charity very much as I do a lot of volunteer work and for those who are in great need, these tend to be their salad days of the year.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:35AM
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I love the holidays as "consumers on steroids" type spending is good for the economy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:11AM
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I don't know, Mylab... I've seen some horrible displays of that charity, watching people physically fight over a store's last item in high demand, during the season's shopping events, just to get a video game player at a sale price? If that's charity, I'd hate to see an interpretation of the opposite!

There are mixed interpretations of what the season means, and one can find those who truly are thankful and generous, more so at this time of year... while others go through the motions but have little to no idea what the season truly means or why people celebrate.

To us, it's just a traditional time to gather, and we leave out the materialism in exchange for being thankful and sharing. For the little kids, it's a time of wonder and delight, of Santa and snow, of giving, of sharing their good fortune and being thankful for family and friends.

We look at the progression of holiday advertisements, the push of materialism in our largely consumer driven economy, and it's just another facet of society that we've gladly left behind.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:14AM
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"I'm having 25 of my family and in-laws here this weekend, for the entire weekend!!! As much work as it is I love it! I love our family traditions, I love their smiles, I love seeing how much the babies have grown, I love the discussions, the games, the fact the cousins get to see each other as we are spread out geographically."

What a generous gift to your extended family, Chase. Those memories and pictures will be with them forever. If you hadn't stepped up to make it happen, those treasures wouldn't even exist. I'll bet you're at the top of a lot of "my favorite aunt" lists!

I'm with the folks who love Christmas. Just knowing it's coming makes me happy all year long.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Nikoleta, this tread has nothing to do with not loving Christmas. It as to do with the materialistic exploitation of the holiday more than two months before its observed date on the Christian calendar. Should we start coloring our Easter eggs in December?!

To everything there really IS a season.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:43PM
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