I first noticed the banners on the lamposts and the artificial greenery being hung in town in early November and by the middle of November, there were Christmas ads and movies everywhere, the artificial red ribbons had joined the greenery and the familiar feeling of my spirit wanting to push back against it all had begun. When I grumble about these things (lament, mourn, sigh) Doug put’s on a grumpy old man’s voice and says “Get out of my yard, kids!” But I don’t think its a crotchety attitude, so much as wanting to let each season be its own particular self.
Thanks to Lissa, I found this, which illustrates it so well. As does the artist’s comment…sh-sh-sh. That is just what I want to do, gently put my finger on the mouth of the consumer machine of Christmas and hush it for awhile.
“With only a fortnight to go before Christmas Day Lulling people were beginning to bestir themselves about their shopping. London might start preparing for the festival at the end of October; Lulling refused to be hustled. October and November had jobs of their own in plenty. December, and that latter part at that, was the proper time to think of Christmas, and the idea of buying cards and presents before then was just plain silly.
‘Who wants to think of Christmas when there’s the autumn digging to do?’ said one practically.
‘Takes all the gilt off the gingerbread to have Christmas thrown down your throat before December, ’agreed another.”
-Winter in Thrush Green
On the way home from our Thanksgiving-in-the-city, I thought to look up the Splendid Table’s Thanksgiving broadcast that we had missed earlier in the day. In the second portion of the show (at around 32 minutes in, to be precise!) the host told a story about an elderwoman chef in New Orleans known for the dish she makes every year on Holy Thursday. In the way of things nowadays (Doug would be getting out his old man voice right about now : ) people began to clamor for it, to want it at other times, and her response was “Leave things be special.” Isn’t that lovely? As is the whole little conversation around this story in the show. Do give it a listen if you feel the way I do about this rush to Christmas.
Tho’ I have been pondering all of the people I know, especially women, who love to break out the Christmas music, movies and decorating as soon as possible and who are also wonderful at enjoying other seasons thoroughly and well. I would love to understand. Of course there are the warm, nostalgic feelings that come with Christmas that I can understand wanting to wrap up in. I guess I can’t sustain that for weeks and weeks and weeks. And I am also not good at overlooking the noise and shininess and the pressure that come with the quieter bits. Honestly, even I could handle it all more gracefully, I just don’t want to. Anticipation is something I value and enjoy and I simply don’t need or want weeks and weeks of Christmas. It seems incompatible with the beauty and meaning of the Winter holidays to me. And I guess I can’t separate the waste and harm that ripples out from the way mainstream Christmas unfolds.
So I’ll keep trying to walk next to this smaller stream of honoring and festiveness, still noticing the leaves on limbs and underneath my feet, and the beautiful spareness that is growing all around and wait for my Christmas season to begin.
How about you?
P.S. And tho’ this wouldn’t at all work for the Lulling folk, I will be closing my shop earlyish in December, so that I can sink into Christmas when it does come near for me. So please order in the next week or so if you are planning to. And if you aren’t, but you appreciate what I make and do, I would so appreciate the sharing of my work in whatever way you like to share…Pinterest, blog mentions, Instagram. I am coming right out and asking because it is the loveliest sort of advertising and I need the word to spread farther than it has so far. I’ve been making Pinterest-worthy pictures in my shop listings and have also been trying to pin what I make a little more often so it is out there in the world. So grateful!