November 1st Means Christmas? In What Universe?

National-Lampoons-Christmas-Vacation
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Let’s see, it’s already November 15th so it took me awhile to even write this post, but I noticed that as soon as November 1st hit, so did Christmas. No kidding! I know some of you have noticed it too. It seems the stores have completely forgotten about Thanksgiving and that’s a shame, because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for many, many reasons. Why rush it?

I adore Thanksgiving because of our annual Thanksgiving in PJ’s tradition. If you are new to the blog, you may not know but after years and years of hosting and forcing my family to take the all important Christmas card photo, The Teen and Girl told me that they really hated that aspect of Thanksgiving. The FORCED stuff. The nice clothing, the having to drop everything to take the damn pic, the fact that there is always some sort of drama to be had. Oh, and the Hub hated it too. In the midst of all of it I’d be cooking a freakin’ meal, sweating up a storm in my Christmas sweater. So when the kids (and hub) complained, I listened.

From that point on, we stay in PJs. We eat, we watch movies, we eat. Sometimes we do puzzles or play a game but there are no rules really and it’s made the holiday SO wonderful. Oh, and we don’t have anyone over either. It’s just us and the Otter Pup and we like it that way!

So for the stores and everyone else to rush us into Christmas so early, I gotta say that it saddens me. I love Christmas music and I do admit to breaking it out early because it eases me into a holiday that is wrought with commercialism but the stores. Geesh. I went out on November 1st and the decorations were up around town. TREES were up. People had lights up. Come on. I like Christmas for the traditional stuff (baking, the decor, the holiday drink menu, etc.) but the stores. Ugh. It pains me. Putting the stuff up early means that people buy the stuff early and then what? They just keep buying! Why? Because they can! I hate to think of all the families going into debt. We’ve been there. It’s not fun to take an entire year to pay off Christmas. Don’t do it.

Instead, buy a few gifts, make a few gifts, see a play or concert, check out the Christmas lights, drink eggnog, make cookies (and eat them!), visit with friends, read a great book (or six), stay in and watch Christmas Vacation, make soup, build a gingerbread house, cozy up by the fire and take a nap, make peppermint hot cocoa, watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.

You get the idea. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the obligation to buy stuff. Do family gifts. Auto Club memberships, zoo and museum memberships mean that that family will get to enjoy your gift ALL year long. With everything going on in my life right now, this return to simplicity almost seems like a requirement to me, not a choice. I am sick of electronics and gadgets and the need to keep up with all of them. Yes, it’s my job but it blows sometimes. I want simple back.

Don’t forget about Thanksgiving this year. It’s a wonderful time to spend with family and friends and it shouldn’t be skipped. I am SO looking forward to it and there is no way in heck, that you will see me in a store shopping on Thanksgiving day! No way.

Now that I got all of that off my chest, what do you have planned for Thanksgiving? Any new recipes to try? I am actually craving banana cream pie so I may make one in addition to the traditional pumpkin pie that we normally have.

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26 thoughts on “November 1st Means Christmas? In What Universe?”

  1. Ti, I’m so with you on this. What is the rush to Christmas when we haven’t even had our Turkey yet? I love Thanksgiving. I love planning the menu, buying the ingredients, all the cooking and baking for loved ones, eating all the yummy food, and hanging out with my family. Its such a great day – so, why rush it? And, no I won’t be out shopping on that day either. As for Christmas – I love watching Christmas Vacation, shopping, wrapping pressies, decorating (which I admit the tree is already up – I couldn’t wait!), the music, the baking, and pretty much everything that makes the whole holiday jolly and fun 🙂 But it has gotten way too commercial lately and it makes me sad. Now its all about the latest gadgets and trends. I’m with you about giving gifts that are experiences or that are thoughtful and not just expensive. And, I with you on enjoying Thanksgiving first and then celebrating Christmas – like it should be 🙂 So, I’m really looking forward to making something new for Thanksgiving – I’m going to go through my cookbooks and see what I can come up with. 🙂

    1. I have been drooling over PInterest boards lately. All of the Thanksgiving stuff… oh my. Corn custards and stuffing. I love stuffing. Gluten free stuffing is a challenge but I have a recipe that I got form Tyler Florence or Bobbie Flay, can’t remember, that I adapt to be gluten free and it’s yummy. Like the real stuff.

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  2. Oh, Ti…I am with you also! It drives me crazy how early the stores start putting things out, and you are so correct; it’s another dupe…they do it so people will start buying early and just keep on buying. We are in a back to simpler times mode here as well…I have a family full of folks struggling with anxiety issues brought on at least partially by the world we live in. If I can create an environment at home that is a safe place away from that, I will!!

  3. Ti…I love this post…everyone will…I miss my family at Thanksgiving but we are staying put this year…we are getting a cooked turkey from Whole Foods and just doing everything else ourselves…it is exhausting to get in a car or plane and leave…so…we are not doing it…we are adopting your comfy clothes thing and staying put!

    1. Your plans sound perfect. I am really looking forward to all of the food, relaxation and all of the movies I plan to watch. Not to mention reading. I have no big plans for reading as my mojo went south these past few weeks but I just want to read for fun, and not because I have to.

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  4. I kind of can’t wait until my husband and I have kids, because then I feel like we’ll have an excuse to sit out the family holidays now and then and just do our own thing. Because it really is more stress than enjoyment. I know it shouldn’t be, I know I should focus on the good parts and let everything else go… but I think I’d enjoy the holidays a lot more if they weren’t an obligation.

    (And I started seeing hints of Christmas in the stores even before Halloween. It really is ridiculous.)

    1. Charleen, I have SO been there with the family stuff. When the kids are young, it’s still hard to get away from the obligatory family stuff but what you end up doing, is doing their thing, and then doing your own. Which is perfectly fine. In fact, you end up not minding the other family stuff so much.

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    1. Walmart only had one aisle of Halloween stuff and the other aisles were set-up for Christmas in early October. The shelves weren’t full at that time but man, that was early. If we keep going on like this, pretty soon Christmas really will start in July.

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  5. Yes, we had Christmas stuff in some stores before Halloween – crazy. To me the holidays are all about family and spending time together — not the gifts. We told our kids no gifts this year (and this time we mean it). For the little ones it is different. I like your traditions.

    1. I don’t want come off as a Christmas Hater because I do love Christmas, but part of the fun is the lead-up to Christmas. EASING into it with yummy holiday drinks and music. I also just want it to be less commercial in general. It’s so ridiculous now. I see young families spending thousands on Christmas that they clearly cannot afford and then once you have all the gadgetry, what then? It’s sad to level out at such a young age.

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  6. Thanksgiving hater here. I financially challenged upbringing means seeing so much food consumed in one day is tough for me. I LOVE that it makes other people happy, but it’s not my thing. I just gleefully stretch my Halloween celebration until Dec 1 (my personal Christmas start date).

    ps. Making a family donation to a charity is another great way to avoid the commercialization of the holidays. Two of my favorites are Foster Care to Success and Together We Rise, which help kids while they’re in foster care and when they age out with care packages at the holidays, suitcases so they don’t have to move their stuff in trash bags, etc.

    1. Now, that’s interesting. I had a rough childhood with very little food or clothing to speak of. Pretty much raised myself from the age of 5 on, so it’s interesting to me that you loathe Thanksgiving for the reason you stated. I am the flip of that. I never got to have it or celebrate it or Christmas so the two are special to me in their own way. There is an awful lot of food consumed on the one day for sure, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We have toned down our meal quite a bit as I just got tired of the amount of food leftover, that I felt obligated to eat.

      Your charity idea is a good one too.

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      1. Wow, Ti. I’m so glad you survived that. My situation wasn’t that bad. Your super great parenting is even more impressive given what you went through.

        Later childhood and young adulthood were the rough financial times for me. I remember coworkers at my first job teasing me that I ate like a bird and was so thin, but I just couldn’t afford more. My family was never a stable, happy one so Thanksgiving with its family and food focus is just a double whammy. I’m lucky it’s jammed in between my favorites Halloween and Christmas which combined keep me ecstatic until January.

  7. I completely agree with your comments about rushing Christmas and commercialism. I much prefer going all out Christmas for 3 weeks or so and loving it rather than seeing Christmas stuff all over the stores from Halloween on, it’s ludicrous.

    I love Thanksgiving Day. We have a really quiet holiday, a little of the Thanksgiving Day parade, a lot of reading, game (Scrabble etc.) playing and a great meal. And I completely ignore black Friday…ludicrous!

    I’m glad you’re going to have a great, relaxing, peaceful Thanksgiving, Ti. :o)

    1. The only thing I plan to do differently is that we will not be doing a puzzle this time. I bought this ridiculous puzzle last year and my daughter really got into it, but it was so difficult and took weeks just for us to get the outer edge done. I finally took it apart and put it away but it was many weeks later. This time. No puzzles but maybe Scrabble, like you.

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  8. Thanksgiving is my mom’s favorite holiday, too, and my parents have always worked hard to make it really special, especially since the grandkids came around. We do have the huge meal (I’d love to cut back on that!) but we also have a special activity for the kids that’s evolved over the years and the guys always go up to a nearby high school to kick field goals. I know the stores want us to start shopping early and I do like to try to stretch things out. But I don’t need the decorations and music to remind me. I’m all about looking for the perfect gift, not trying to find the best bargain.

  9. I cannot agree with you more! I like to take a breather for Thanksgiving, sit back and really remember what I am thankful for and what I should be thankful for in the weeks and months ahead. Christmas goes up after Thanksgiving in our house and comes down before New Year’s. I have no intention of lengthening it EVER!

    Random fact … I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie! In our house, we do one of those for everyone else and another for me, either chocolate or apple. Crazy, right?!?

    1. As I get older, I find myself being more accommodating with what we have or don’t have on Thanksgiving. Part of it has to do with the food allergies but for instance, I always make these awesome green beans with feta cheese and garlic, etc. BUT, Trader Joe’s makes an awesome spinach thing which is just as good, cheaper to buy and saves me time. I am okay with it whereas years ago I’d DIE before using a store bought item. Same with the pie. This year I want this banana cream thing I saw on Pinterest. I am going to make it without the cookie part and gobble it up with bourbon vanilla whipped cream. Hello!! I will have pumpkin too but it’s okay to stray. I love apple pie btw!

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  10. I am totally in the Christmas spirit already (as you know!), but I really have come to think of Thanksgiving as part of the entire holiday season. Personally, I wish we could move Christmas to February and spread the holiday love out a bit more, but I doubt that will happen anytime. I’ve grown to love Thanksgiving because the Mr. and I refuse to travel, love to cook, and refuse to eat turkey when we could be eating beef or pork (yum!) It’s once again become one of my favorite holidays. Our family isn’t much about presents, and I mostly avoid the stores, so that part hasn’t bothered. I’m just enjoying the music and my decorations:-)

    1. I enjoy the music and decorations too. A lot of people put their stuff up this weekend and I think that means people are having a better year. A couple of years ago, when people were getting laid off and housing dropped to an all time low, there were hardly any decorations. I was so depressed that year.

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