Friday, September 25, 2009

The Passage of Time

(That could actually be the theme of this week's posts, don't you agree?)

The Big Cuter kvetched* on the phone last Sunday that I was "the second person today who was talking about Halloween." It's not that he hates Halloween -- it's actually his favorite holiday. It's the fact that it is still September and we should still be in first month of school mode.

Rushing from Back-to-School to Valentines Day was not always the norm. When I was a girl (!!), merchants took their time and displayed their seasonal wares during the appropriate season. Holidays were allowed to come and go before their merchandise was discounted. Then, again, it used to be possible to buy a bathing suit in July in New York - now, if you wait that long, you're looking at displays of corduroy car coats and woolen knit mittens.

I used to shop at JoAnn Fabrics in Marin for all my holiday supplies. They had shelf after shelf of inexpensive but must have items - wooden scarecrows and haunted houses and candle holders of all shapes and sizes and pilgrims and turkeys and even a row or two of Hanukkah decorations. I can't remember which year it was when I realized that it was September and yet everywhere I looked, everything was on sale. Thanksgiving cornucopia were 50% off before I'd thought about how many napkins I'd need for the Halloween party. Only Hallmark stuck to its guns; you always had to wait until December 26th for a price break.

What's the big rush????? There are pumpkins to carve and thanks to be given and they should not be given short shrift. Once I saw what was happening, I began to shop exclusively at Nordstrom's as soon as the inappropriate decorating began at Macy's and J.C.Penny. Nordie's had it right - no decorating until they closed at Thanksgiving and opened thereafter with Christmas in every corner. Up until the fourth Thursday in November, life in the store went on as usual. I loved it. They were in the moment, and they had my allegiance and my wallet.

I do my very best to hold the line. I will buy things early on, but only because that's the way to do it (fodder for a future post : Nannie and preparing the perfect Christmas). But I don't have a single holiday doo-dad decorating a mantle or a doorway, nor will I until October 1st. Dee and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch on the first Saturday in October, and not before. Halloween is put away on November 1st, and no December decorations leave their boxes until every last autumnal artifact is in the garage. These are the rules, and I'm sticking to them.

Mr. 6 and Little Brother wanted to make the scarecrow this weekend. They understand the concept of the calendar, but are having a little bit of trouble with delay of gratification. I feel their pain, but they're just going to have to be satisfied with planning. It's still September and we're going to relish every day of it. The time will pass swiftly enough, without our intervention.

*kvetch(ed) - (Yiddish) complain(ed)

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