As much as some people don’t want to hear it …. Christmas is coming!
I admit to being surprised when I went into a store on September 29th and their Halloween stuff was already 40% off! Forty percent off!!?? I hadn’t even THOUGHT about decorating for Halloween at that point and now I felt like Johnny-come-lately’s sister, Josephine, falling behind the whole world on her decorating!! Because, really, if it was already 40% off, doesn’t that mean that everyone already got all they wanted and the store was preparing to liquidate the remainder?
I perused the aisles of ghosts and goblins and cutesy scary stuff. I ran through the aisles of fake-bloody body parts and too-real masks of faces with oozing wounds. I looked on in wonder at the extent of high tech yard decorations with timers and computer-controlled light shows. And I made a decision: I would carve my pumpkin and put a candle in it and sit next to it on the porch to hand out candy.
Whew! I felt caught up: not because I had bought up all of the remaining inventory and decorated for Halloween by October 1st, but because I had looked at the decorations and decided NOT to. A decision had been made and acted on (or not acted, in this case!). Relief!
Then, to my horror, I went to the store on October 2nd and Christmas decorations were up! On October 2nd!
Owning a business with huge front display windows, I know about decorating well ahead of each holiday to make my windows look festive and beautiful. But, come on! October 2nd for Christmas decorations, I asked myself?!?!
And then I realized something. I LOVE Christmas! I love the music. I love the white twinkle lights on all of our downtown stores with their cheery window displays. I love the crisp feeling in the air. I love that people tell each other to have a Merry Christmas and get an actual smile in return! I love the miniature villages in all the store windows and am always captivated. When my children were young we would stand and look at one of those Dickens Villages for a long time, pointing out the little cobblestones in the pavement, the little tiny gloves, the glowing tiny street lights, and the scenes lit up in the small windows of the houses, churches and stores of the village.
I am one of those people that start playing the Christmas music and singing along with it in my car and in my store waaaaaaaay before the actual holiday season is upon us. Bing Crosby and Dean Martin are my best friends by the time Christmas arrives, and I am not tired of them (though my family surely is!).
Our town’s historic Downtown has free horse-and-carriage rides every Friday night through Christmas, starting November 2nd. Every year I am in line on the first night of the carriage rides to ride around the square and downtown, viewing my quaint town in slow motion as we clip-clop by lit stores and decorated houses! It’s is like being on a Disney ride to me, and I love it.
All four of our children and grandchildren come in for the week of Thanksgiving every year, and we all go down to the Square to stroll around, looking in the windows at all the festive displays. The youngest ones run and jump and play, and we let them. How many parents and grandparents let their young ones run AWAY from them out in public and on a busy street? Well, you just can’t do it in this day and age, UNLESS you are on the historic Square in downtown Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Here, my five-year-old grand-daughter can run back and forth on the sidewalk, playing tag, lagging behind and then racing past us to be the first to look into the next store window and say “Ooooh and Aaaaah” first.
She will never forget the freedom she had on these sidewalks. She will remember all of her life the feeling of Christmas in the air. She will always treasure those miniature displays in the barber shop window and the gingerbread house in the antique store window. And she LOVES that horse and carriage ride in our downtown! I will always be grateful to all of the businesses that decorate WAY before the traditional Christmas season so that my whole family could stroll around at Thanksgiving time!
So here we are, just entering November, and I am not sad or offended that many of the businesses in my Currier-and-Ives cute historic downtown are decorated already. I love it! I wish they would blast that Christmas music out onto the sidewalk as I walk around the square, and not just keep it to themselves in their stores. I kind of wish that they would leave their displays up longer than they do. And even though it would wreak havoc on all the town, I wish for a white Christmas. Then I would really feel like I was in a schmaltzy Christmas movie.
And isn’t that what we all really want: that idyllic, schmaltzy, Currier-and-Ives postcard Christmas come to life? I know that I do, and my quaint historic town delivers!!
Copyright © 2012, Maura White. All rights reserved.