Why Do We Celebrate Christmas In July?
After jumping from winter right into summer, with no real spring to speak of, summer has brought with it the fires of “h-e-double toothpicks,” forcing many to crank up their central air conditioning, or their window air conditioners, or their ceiling fans, window fans, box fans or oscillating fans, anything to beat the heat.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about the heat, especially after our extended winter. The biggest drawback of this summer is having to spend so much time indoors, due to the extreme heat, but as long as there is my computer which keeps me busy writing the narratives I appreciate you reading every week, and televised baseball, and my favorite show marathons on television, we’ve been able to beat the heat.
Throw in the ballgames we’ve attended, and the concerts we’ve been to, and the festivals we’ve patronized, and the family get-togethers we have shared, it has been a fantastic summer thus far. At the penning of this piece, July 17, there are about seven more weeks of summer to go and the best is yet to come, which features three more weddings to attend, one of them being the wedding of our son, Jon, and his fiance, Erica. There will be more ballgames to attend, too, so whatever the weather brings, we will still continue to have a great summer and we are looking forward to it.
As part of that time we spend indoors, as mentioned, we do spend it watching some television, and one of my pet peeves is when I turn on the Hallmark Channel and find that the morning schedule of “I Love Lucy” has been shelved for a Christmas in July movie, as part of THC’s Celebration of Christmas in July. It also irks me, as I channel surf, to run into holiday shopping being shown by the Home Shopping Network and the QVC channel, and also holiday music being featured on AXS-TV. My question is why do we need to celebrate Christmas in July? And why does it seem that every one of those made for TV Christmas movies aired by the Hallmark Channel are almost the same, just with different characters? Please don’t get the idea that I actually watch them, I don’t. I have formed my evaluation by the advertisements for those movies. Maybe it’s not the best way to evaluate something, but my judgement is created by what I see in the trailers for those movies.
I love Christmas in December. I hate snow, but love the lyrics of Christmas carols like “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” and “Frosty the Snowman,” as those songs help put me in the mood for Christmas in December. Having to think of snow in July, especially after the lack of spring and the extended winter we experienced earlier this year, is depressing, so I’d just as soon not begin preparing for Christmas until all the other holidays — Labor Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving — between now and Christmas have received their due attention first.
Now, I’m not trying to be Scrooge here, or the Grinch, I just believe Christmas should be celebrated in December as the calendar indicates to us. I mean, what’s the rush? I’m not ready to see Christmas advertising on television yet. I’m never ready to see store shelves begin to be adorned with red and green, until after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to hear those Christmas carol lyrics in the autumn months, when the reds, oranges, browns and yellows of the changing trees should be featured, as opposed to the colors of Christmas being displayed.
I’m old fashioned, I know. I think there should be a rule that you can’t begin to advertise one holiday until the ones in front of it are given their due respect and celebration. So we should begin to prepare for New Year’s Day on Dec. 26, then we can prepare for Martin Luther King Day, then we can think about Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, the first day of baseball spring training (I celebrate it), and then St. Patrick’s Day. After the wearing of the green, we can think about the celebration of Easter or Passover, opening day of baseball (It’s a holiday to me), Arbor Day, Cinco de Mayo, then Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Father’s Day. After honoring dads, we can prepare to celebrate Juneteenth, the Fourth of July (also known as Independence Day), Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, then Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and back to New Year’s Day. There are some people who also celebrate religious holidays, (i.e. Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, St. Nicholas Day, the Epiphany, and other special days celebrated by other religions.), so you can pencil those into your list as well. The list can, and should, also include the birthdays of those near and dear to us, and of course, our own.
Another thing I compare to a mosquito bite in the middle of my back and hard to reach for scratching, is seeing those Facebook posts on June 25 announcing that there are only six months until Christmas. Why are we so headstrong to jump ahead? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in planning for what’s ahead, but I don’t want time to push ahead six months when there is still a lot of living to do between now and then. And I really think there should be a law against taking “I Love Lucy” (or “Andy Griffith,” “M*A*S*H,” “Barney Miller,” etc.) marathons off the TV schedule to put on a holiday themed movie six months ahead of the date of the holiday. At this point in my life, I want to be able to appreciate each day and not to jump ahead, plus thinking about Christmas now, throws a wrench into my budget planning. I can’t think about Christmas now, not with more ballgames to attend, the wedding this month, the possible baseball playoffs, and several birthdays of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews between now and then. It’s a huge chore to balance all that on a fixed income. I can do it, sometimes with a little creativity, but can’t think of Christmas until the time gets closer.
So there is my pet peeve rant. Haven’t had one in a while, so it feels good to blow off a little steam about something. I have an appointment this week with my cardiologist, so getting something out of my system before that might keep my blood pressure reading a little lower.
Thanks for listening, and may you all have a happy Labor Day, a happy Columbus Day, a happy Halloween, a happy Veterans’ Day, and a happy Thanksgiving, before you celebrate a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and/or joyous Kwanzaa five months from now.