What's the Rush?

The Tanglewood season ended Labor day weekend. Almost immediately the leaves began to turn and apples and pumpkins appeared at the farm stands. Although I am reluctant to turn on the heat, I have been using my fireplace regularly. My “snow bird” friends are packing up to return to warmer climates.

And while letting go of summer is hard, all this is natural. Fall follows summer and winter will soon follow fall.

What isn’t natural is that the Halloween candy has been on display since late August and someone told me they saw their first Christmas decorations for sale at one of the big box stores.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a planner; I have already purchased most of my holiday presents. But that is because I enjoy buying things that seem just right for the people I care about. So when I see something, I buy it and put it away. It isn’t because some commercial is screaming at me or a store display is implying I will be sorry if I don’t start preparing now for a holiday still months away. I once asked an employee stocking a shelf with Valentine’s Day chocolates the week before Christmas, “Why so early?” She told me it was corporate policy. Who would want to buy chocolate that has been on a shelf for 6 weeks I thought, crossing that store off my list.

The magazines at the checkout lines now have turkeys on their covers, so I know cranberry sauce will be next to the candy shortly. And as if opening at midnight the night of Thanksgiving for Friday bargain hunters wasn’t sufficient, more and more stores are staying open on Thanksgiving Day. My daughter says it is an opportunity for employees to earn overtime, but I worry about their ability to actually make that choice. And did we really need to turn a day of giving thanks with family and friends into yet another commercial enterprise?

Life is passing by fast enough without hurrying the seasons, robbing holiday celebrations of their meaning. I will do my best to ignore “buy me now” messages and approach he holidays in their own time, with joy.

Barbara ViniarComment