Thursday, November 15, 2018

Yes! It Can Be Thanksgiving AND Christmas at the Same Time

Ok, now before we get started I can already here a portion of you saying, "Bryan, leave this holiday thing alone!"  Another portion might be saying, "Stop rushing things already, I'm under enough pressure from the retail stores! Just stop!"  But, there just might be another portion of you out there going, "OK, hit me with it I'm listening."  And, I hope that's the largest block.

Let me ask you a question and I'd like for you to think about it quietly in your own mind, honestly; have you had a good year or a bad year?  Some will say good, some will say bad and some will say 'eh, it's been OK.'

For me personally it's been an atrocious year, whether it's my health declining or the cruel way our local media shoved me out of sight without a good-bye or where I'm going, against my will mind you, it hasn't been a good year by any measure.  Frankly, 2016, 2017 and 2018 will go down as some of the worst I've had to go through but I constantly pray and focus that better times are ahead.

Now, obviously your situation isn't the same as mine but it is definitely within the realm of possibility that you have had it much worse than me or maybe at this exact time in life you need a little cheering up.

It was Halloween night that I was enjoying a scary movie, think it was "Halloween 2," the original from back in the 70s, not the gory remake and my fiancee said, you know.  This year has been so bad, I think we need a little Christmas.  Of course at that moment my eyes popped open with glee and said, "Don't tease me, you know how I feel about Christmas and all the holidays!"  She said, "I'm serious, this year we need it, it will cost us nothing but work and time, let's do it!"

So, on the night of October 31st as the candle slowly burnt down in the Jack-O-Lantern and I turned off the orange Halloween lights for the last time I knew that the next day was going to be the first day of the Christmas Season for us this year.

By the way, I can hear your thought, "OK, Bryan, you are really rushing it a bit!!"  And you have a point, but I'll get to my counter-point in just a few moments.

The next day we took all the Halloween decorations down and by the end of the day the Christmas tree was up and lighted.  That was all for now, because it can take a lot of work to decorate your home for Christmas.  And, that actually brings me to my first point on why this is a good idea, getting started on November 1st.

How many of you out there celebrate Thanksgiving and then take a week or more to get ALL the Christmas decorations up?  This includes the lights outside, the tree, the lights inside, a bit of garland, maybe a centerpiece, changing out the candles and of course you can't forget Grandma's old heirloom Christmas decoration that you really don't like but just can't part with.  Now all that takes about 5, 6 or maybe 7 days.

So if it was this year, which Thanksgiving falls very early this year, the earliest it can on November 22, that means you're not done decorating until about November 29 or 30th.  And, when next year comes around and Thanksgiving is as late as it can be which is on November 28 that means you won't be done decorating until about December 5th.

So, if we take next year as an example and the decorations go up by the 5th and Christmas is on the 24th/25th depending on family and personal tradition, you had a total of 19 to 20 days to enjoy it.  Well, that certainly makes the one week putting it all up and one week taking it all down worth it, doesn't it? (I'm being sarcastic).  The point is, if you are only going to get 19 days to enjoy it, and it takes almost 7-14 days to put it up and take it down, is it worth it??

I say no.  So the answer is to do it earlier.  That way you have so much longer to enjoy it.  That's the first benefit.

Second benefit, wouldn't you enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends, knowing all the Christmas decorating is done?  You wouldn't have in the back of your mind - UGH!  I've got 5-7 days, between work and the kinds and the husband and wife and errands to get it all done.

So, you put it up from November 1-whenever, taking your time and enjoying the atmosphere along the way.  By the time Thanksgiving comes, it's still Thanksgiving Day and we pray for thanks but we have the beauty of our homes decorated and full of warmth all done, with no stress and anxiety in the back of our minds that it all has to be done.  Believe me, you'll get to Thanksgiving and enjoy it more this way.

Now, some might say, you have a point Bryan but by the time Christmas Day actually comes around I'm sick of it all.  To that I say . . . really?  I don't understand that.  We all sit in our homes, or most of us and stare at the same four walls in each room looking the same for about 340 days out of the year.  But, you are bored with the Christmas warmth and decorations by the 25th day?  I'm much more bored through the year with 340 days of blah and no lights and no warmth that I see and feel during the Christmas Season.  

And, with a Manger under the tree or sometimes more prominently placed, your bored with the reminder of Christ's birthday after 25 days?

Well, I've gone on long enough, I'm sure you'll agree.  But, for me and my family we started putting Christmas up on November 1st and have no regrets, no shame and actually are happier people.  

(Which, by the way there have been studies done, honest, that show those that put their Christmas decorations up after Halloween but before Thanksgiving, are happier people).

I'll let you take a small look inside, not everything is 'perfected' yet to show off, or at least that is what I've been told, :-)








So for us, we started on November 1, we played Christmas music from time to time and of course still do.  The warmth has filled our home, a little cold weather helped a bit too.  And, now we are ready for a beautiful Thanksgiving.  You know it's always been tradition that Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas Holiday Season so it's appropriate that as we carve the turkey and eat our green bean casserole we will look at the tree, the train (which yes, goes under the tree), the wreaths and enjoy our beautiful home.

And, when Christmas Day comes it will feel all that much warmer and cozier to know the memories we have made through the season and will be making that day with loved ones and friends.

So, if you took anything away from this I hope you took that point, not that you have to do what I did but that you CAN.  Don't let other people, society, the media, retail stores, or anyone else tell you what you can and can't do.  If it makes you happy, in your home be it an efficiency apartment or a sprawling 10-acre estate, do as you please, and if like us, getting started earlier makes you happy, then do it!  Be your own culture, your own decider of your life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Bryan W. Rupp

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