Otherwise known as my attempt to explain how I am feeling about the holidays.
Otherwise known as a rant.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love Thanksgiving. I love when people get excited about things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love twinkling lights. I love Christmas trees. I love Christmas music.
But there is such a thing as too much.
This is the first year I have decorated for Fall.
And by decorated, I mean, pumpkins on the porch, a wreath on the door, a fall-ish garland in the living room, and a splurge on an apple cinnamon candle.
I’ve only been married for two falls, and I thought I was so on top of things when I started decorating two weeks in (the end of September). I went to the store to pick up some supplies for a fall wreath, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the fall stuff was on clearance! But then I realized why. It had been bumped to clearance because the Christmas stuff was making its way onto the shelves. IT’S SEPTEMBER, PEOPLE!
I almost cried. I texted Theo about it. I gawked. I shook my head. I might have even judged some people
Here is where I am coming from. Growing up in Niger, we lived among the poorest people in the world. Like less than $2 a day, people. We had cement floors and a toilet inside our house and fans that kept us cool and even an air conditioner. We had three meals a day and a car. We were RICH. (If any American saw how we lived, the equation would be opposite. Running water only 9 months of the year? A latrine in your yard? Only one vehicle? No access to frozen foods or fresh meats/fruits/veggies? Cement floors? Only one air conditioner in 110 degree heat?). But, no Americans saw our lifestyle. The people who were watching were the poorest of the poor. They already thought we were brimming over with wealth (a lady once asked my Mom if she could see our money machine, she thought we just made our own money!), and we didn’t need to add 30,000 Christmas lights to our house to show that off. They already thought we were rich beyond belief without all those holidays we got to celebrate in excess. So my family toned down the holidays. We had a special meal, cake and presents and some friends for birthdays. We had a special meal for Thanksgiving (if we even happened to get the day off), and we did decorate and celebrate Christmas.
But our Christmas looked a little bit different. As soon as my brother and I got home from boarding school (the week before Christmas), my family would drag out the Christmas decorations and set them all out. The neighbor children would gawk and giggle at our 1.5 ft. tree, asking us what in the world it was for. We never put our presents out under the tree because it would just invite more stares and confusion (Oh, so if I become a Christian and celebrate Christmas, I can get presents under a tree?). It’s just not what Christmas is about. On Christmas day, my family would go to church bright and early, have a service, fellowship with believers, eat a meal and go home and crash late in the afternoon.
This is the church that we would spend all Christmas at…
The day after, we would all stay home and celebrate our “American” Christmas, with presents and Christmas music in English and a big American meal.
This is my Dad and our Christmas tree. No, this one did not go in the bathroom. It was our main deal.
Even when we were in the States, we didn’t make too big of a deal out of Christmas. We usually had a full sized, real pine tree and celebrated Christmas on the day of, maybe with extended family.
Here is a picture of me on Christmas in the States. For some reason it looks like half the lights don’t work on the tree?? haha! And, yes, I know it’s not the best picture of me. But it proves we have had a bigger tree than the teeny one we had in Niger.
Since having my own home to decorate, and having a Pinterest, I have gotten a little more into the holiday spirit. I actually have plans for how to decorate for Christmas, and plans for what to eat around what time of the year. I get excited about wearing boots and sweaters and leggings, and I get excited about Christmas music and snow (although I still hate winter in general). I get excited about presents and white elephant gift exchanges and dressing up for holiday parties.
But c’mon people, let’s not push it. Let’s enjoy each season to it’s fullest. Let’s enjoy fall while it is fall, and winter/Christmas while it is winter/Christmas. Sure, get your red cup from Starbucks, and share it on Instagram. Sure, get some Christmas shopping done before December arrives. But don’t get yourself lost in all the hustle and bustle. Don’t forget to enjoy each of the seasons and the holidays to the fullest.
And that’s just my two cents.