Column: Christmas comes early — too early

Kristen Douglas, a reporter with the Times' sister paper Campbell River Mirror, isn't feeling the yuletide spirit just yet

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Maybe not at first glance out your window, but if you look a little closer you’ll see the signs.

There are houses with Christmas lights lighting up the darkness (which is coming awfully early at this time of year), customers are bombarded with Christmas decorations at most retail outlets, and there are even some people with their Christmas trees up already. A good friend of mine comes to mind.

I completely understand when she says that so much work goes into putting up the tree, stringing the lights and hanging the ornaments and hand-crafted decorations that she wants to be able to enjoy her tree for longer than just a few weeks.

I do get it and normally would perhaps even entertain the idea myself.

But this year I’m just not ready.

I’m not sure if it’s the weather – temperatures have been in the double digits and it’s now mid-November – or if maybe I’m just growing up.

I’ve always been one to get out the Christmas carols in September and drive around scouting out Christmas lights put up by those who dare to light up their houses early.

But this past weekend, while at the mall in Nanaimo, every store I went into was playing Christmas music.

My first thought?

‘It’s too early!’

I’m pretty sure that as soon as the calendar flipped to Nov. 12 and Remembrance Day was over, that many retailers went into Christmas mode.

But how much Christmas is too much Christmas?

I believe that part of the magic of Christmas is that it only comes around once a year and for a limited time.

Sometimes you really can have too much of a good thing. If every day was Christmas, it would no longer be so special.

I think part of the problem is that as you transition from childhood to adulthood, Christmas is ever so slightly always changing and if you stray too far from the true meaning of Christmas, the holiday season can lose some of its lustre.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there is a sort of pressure associated with Christmas.

There’s the Christmas baking that has to be done, the search for that perfect gift and subsequent wrapping, the fight with the tangle of Christmas of lights so that you’re not the only dark house on the block.

All of those things can start to feel like a chore because, ‘it’s tradition’ and tradition dictates that you have to decorate and bake in pretty much the same fashion every year.

What I’m saying is that Christmas can be stressful for many people and with signs of the holiday season popping up all around us, that stress starts to rear its ugly head and you can feel your blood pressure start to slightly rise.

Don’t get me wrong.

I still love the holiday season and I’ll be eagerly watching the  Big Truck Parade as it rolls through downtown on Dec. 2 and hitting up the local craft fairs.

I’ll still decorate a gingerbread house and sugar cookies, overload my house with Christmas lights and decorations and watch my collection of Christmas movies for weeks on end. But I’m going to try and wait as long as I can.

I’m not sure just how long I can hold out. I may suddenly get hit with the Christmas bug any time now.

As I write this, our window at the Mirror office is being painted  in its annual Christmas-themed display.

That just might change my attitude. Or maybe we’ll get a dump of (I won’t say the actual word because I know people have an aversion to it around here) the white fluffy stuff.

That would surely get me into the Christmas spirit.

But for now, I’m going to wait.

At least until Dec. 1.

Maybe. I’m taking it one day at a time.

Kristen Douglas is a Black Press reporter with the Campbell River Mirror.

What do you think?

Is it too early too trim the tree and deck the halls? Should we be waiting until Dec. 1, or is it never too soon to begin celebrating the holiday season? Give us your feedback in the poll on our homepage.

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