Whilst I understand the need for businesses to start Christmas early, I don't understand the need to start Christmas celebrations a month in advance. Before you think I am being rather humbug, it isn't that I don't love Christmas, I really do. I love all the preparation, the making of the mincemeat, the hanging of the holly and ivy, the choosing and wrapping presents and writing cards. What I don't like is this long pre Christmas hysteria followed by a cutting short of the Christmas season. For it IS a season. Christmas starts on Christmas Eve and runs until Twelfth Night. In some traditions it even lasts as long as Candlemas on the 2nd of February.
I'm a great believer in Thoreau's saying that we should 'Live in each season as it passes'. Enjoy the beginnings of Autumn and the leaves changing colour, then celebrate Halloween, Bonfire Night, Stir Up Sunday and so on. If we rush onto the next thing too quickly, we do not savour what is happening at that moment. Rather than spending the whole of the Autumn celebrating Christmas, leave Christmas to its proper time at the end of the year, at the darkest time of the year.
I do understand that a lot of people don't work in the same industry that means they can take time off between Christmas and New Year, but even those who have to return to work can have those days brightened by coming home to a lovely tree with its sparkling lights or a candle burning.
Thank you for your messages on my Christmas Day message, I do hope that you are able to enjoy the other days of Christmas too. We are only on the third day of Christmas now, many days left to celebrate the light in the darkness.
“A good time occurs precisely when we lose track of what time it is.”
Robert Farrar Capon