Respect November -- keep Christmas out of it

I bought coffee today, Nov. 1, the day after Halloween, hoping the caffeine would revive me after a night of mischief and too much candy.

The cup looked like this:

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And that wasn't even the first Christmas #content I've seen this fall -- Hulu has been running at least one Christmas-related advertisement in recent weeks.

It's become clear in recent years that Christmas season had extended into the area before Thanksgiving, but encroaching on Halloween is a bridge too far.

While there are absolutely reasonable problems with Thanksgiving -- mostly surrounding how we have treated and continue to treat Native Americans in this country -- the celebration of the holiday deserves its own time in the calendar.

Thanksgiving in my family and many others is focused on the three F's: food, family and football. Even if two of those things can be bad for one's health (and family can be iffy for mental health), they're a lot better than the corporate consumerism that's taken over the way Americans celebrate Christmas.

It's no surprise to see Christmas creep up the calendar through the vessel of television commercials -- businesses have the most to gain by convincing consumers to invest more in the holiday.

But in order to keep Christmas special, we should resist the urge to accept that.

No matter how religious you are, holidays should be more about spending time with loved ones than about consumerism.

Sure, it's great to show someone you appreciate them with a big gift, but when that gift not only consumes the entire holiday, but also weeks or months ahead of time, the person becomes smaller than the present.

For many folks, the holidays are a particularly stressful time between running around buying gifts and mentally preparing for sometimes difficult family issues. Beginning "Christmas season" early doesn't help anyone work through that stress -- it just prolongs the issue.

Keeping the Christmas spirit confined to the 12 Days of Christmas (or at least December, or post-Thanksgiving) means those days can be chock-full of the spirit of the season.

I'm not here to tell you not to put up your tree, but when radio stations start playing Christmas music the morning after Halloween, they are helping change the season's emphasis from family to finances.

In early November, sleigh bells just ring hollow.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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