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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't Rush the Holidays



by Sandra Sookoo 

First of all, thanks to Heather for inviting me onto the blog today. (HB: My pleasure) Second, I’m annoyed. And no, it’s not for the usual reasons you might think LOL

Two weeks ago, Target started ad campaigns for the Christmas season—in the freaking middle of October. Now, just today, the second offender, HSN, has followed suit.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas just as much as the next person, but daring to advertise before Halloween? (At the time of writing this blog post, Halloween hadn't occurred yet.) That’s just completely uncool. I’m contemplating boycotting these two retailers this year just for spite, because let’s face it, my patronage at either establishment won’t make or break their bottom lines.

That’s the bad thing.

Anyway, back to my gripe. Fall in the United States is my favorite season. I live near the Great Lakes. Once the cool air makes its way into Indiana, the leaves start to change into reds, oranges and yellows. The air is perfumed with wood burning stoves, bonfires and apples. The shrieks and laughter of kids shatters the still air once fall break starts, and I diligently drag out the pumpkin decorations. I generally have two and a half months to make my home bright and cheery with fall décor and to burn my fall-themed candles.

And, because it wouldn’t be my house if I didn’t, I put out the Pilgrim Pooh and Stitch in a turkey costume stuffed animals. They sit on my fireplace mantle all season LOL

This penchant of retailers rushing the seasons in the quest of the almighty dollar needs to go. I don’t mind skipping over Halloween so much but it seems to me that too many people turn a blind eye to Thanksgiving.

According to Wikipedia: “In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.”

I remember back in the day when I was in school, we always remembered Thanksgiving. There were classroom “feasts” and the making of hand turkeys, a reenactment of the Pilgrims meeting the Indians (or Native Americans now) and we made pasta necklaces and paper bag turkeys. And always, everyone was told why we celebrate Thanksgiving and why that particular winter was so darned tough on the Pilgrims. They had to rely on folks who were different than them for their very survival. It’s the ultimate story of trust and friendship.

Sigh. At times I long for the good old days before the nation became grubby with the love of money and material things. In the last ten years or so, the reverence for the simple act of being thankful has faded and frayed at the edges. Everyone seems to be so concerned for “what’s next?” that the simple things of life are sacrificed.

Don’t get me wrong, as soon as the Thanksgiving meal is put away and the kitchen cleaned, all thoughts turn to dragging out the Christmas tree and if we need to buy new lights for said tree this year, etc.

Maybe it’s silly to hope for more of a Norman Rockwellian approach to life (and incidentally, some of my contemporary/sci-fi heroes/heroines lament this very fact as well LOL) or that folks would just slow down enough to enjoy the company of the people they’re with of the moment. Life’s too short to slip into the thought that “they’ll always be there. I’ll talk to them tomorrow.”

You never know.

Where am I going with this, you ask? I’m just saying, be thankful. Count your blessings instead of your problems. In this day and age of being constantly connected to everything in the world 24/7 via the Internet, it’s all too easy to fall into a “woe is me” kind of thinking, or even the “look at me, aren’t I awesome” spiral. Take a step back and just “be.”

This year, I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given. In January, I never could have imagined I’d be writing the things I did this year. (And can I just get a little “woot, woot” for writing in the Regency? I never thought I’d be doing that, yet here I am LOL) I kicked out a lot of the negative people in my life and that was a good thing because it paved the way for way more awesome and supportive people to come in. I don’t miss that whole big stress ball. I’ve been way more fulfilled in my writing life this year than I ever have been. I may not be a best seller but I adore every single piece I put out there this year. And, what’s more, in December I’ll celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary to the most wonderful man I know.

Milestones, I tell you. Don’t hop over the milestones in the quest to get somewhere else faster. Slow down. Christmas will still be there the same day it always is every year. This year, usher in the Thanksgiving spirit and sit down with those who matter most and be genuinely thankful. You only have one chance on this rock and you don’t get a do over.

I’m in a generous mood today. In less than two weeks I’ll be on vacation at Disney World celebrating my tenth early (since December at Disney is crazy scary crowded) so, to one random commenter I’m giving away the book of your choice (plus book swag) Yeah, that’s right. If you want a digital book or a print book, the choice is yours. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me one thing you’re thankful for this year. Don’t forget to leave your contact info.

Giveaway will run through November 16th. Winner will be posted the next day. Please be aware that some content in my books is adult-oriented. Contest is open to international entries.
Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and oftentimes will add humor to the mix. 
When not immersed in creating new worlds and engaging characters, Sandra likes to read, bake, taste new teas, watch The Big Bang Theory, and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World: it’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men, sci-fi-related subjects, and the odd “what if”. 
Sandra loves to hear from her readers. You can write to her at sandrasookoo@yahoo.com, visit her website at www.sandrasookoo.com, or look her up on Facebook and Twitter. All links are provided on the front page of her website.
 

26 comments:

  1. I thankfull for the healthy, work smoothly and ofcourse knowing so much great author and a chance to read their book :)

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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  2. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Sandra!

    Youngest and I had this same conversation just yesterday! He was going on about Thanksgiving getting the short end of the stick when everything seems to be about Christmas already.

    I agree about slowing down. This year has been challenging, but it has flown. I feel the need to appreciate the day to day stuff...

    Today I am very thankful for opportunity ...

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    1. Thanks Deb. I'm excited to be here :-) Yes, this year has flown but it's brought a lessen in thankfulness every single month :-)

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  3. Yay!!! A new-to-me author. I'm very thankful for my best friend, who is letting me live with her while I look for a job and then a place to live, after moving from Iowa back home to GA.

    smulholland62@msn.com

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  4. Welcome, Sandra! Thanks so much for spending the day with us! I despise anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but it should be special, something we look forward to, not rush full steam ahead towards. And certainly not to spend money. Sigh.
    Great post! If only retailers would read it! ;}

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    1. Thanks Andris :-) It's all too easy to rush forward and miss the wonderful :-)

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  5. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Sandra! Ugh - I work a day or two a week in retail, and the turned out the blasted Christmas music ON Halloween, and never looked back. I completely resent the shortchanging of fall and Thanksgiving. To me, Thanksgiving is the most lovely of all holidays, mainly because they haven't yet figured out how to commercialize it (hence why they skip it). I steadfastly refuse to acknowledge Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, at which time the boxes come out of storage and the house is turned red and green :)

    Thanks for the reminder to slow down and smell the turkey!

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    1. Hi Erin. Me too. Right now my apartment is decorated for fall and will be until after Thanksgiving :-)

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  6. Welcome Sandra,

    I am thankful for my family, especially my husband's health this year, and the memories of having of Thanksgiving with my parents and siblings. We would sit around and play games all night after we ate our fill. I miss those days.

    As far as retail, I really shouldn't get started on this, but wasn't Black Friday getting earlier and earlier each year enough? I participated in one early morning Black Friday. Never again. Do they really have to open the stores Thanksgiving night?

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    1. Hi Jane. I've never done the Black Friday thing. I'm an online shopper girl, but yeah, it's trying.

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  7. Thanks for the fabulous post and have fun at Disney! I discovered online black friday shopping last year and it's awesome!!!

    I'm thankful for my friends and family :) Everyone is in good health and spirits.

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    1. Thanks Erin. I can't wait for vacation :-)

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  8. No thanks to the Black Friday shopping. That's just nuts. I realize that the stores put out some good deals and people who are real shoppers are geared for it and love it. Therefore, I leave it to them. Enjoy! For many years, my husband and I have been driving up to NC from our home in Florida to have Christmas with our son and grandchildren. Our other son in Florida would join us. I would fill the car with gifts, bake tons of cookies with the grandchildren and cook and cook. Two years ago, there was an awful snow and ice storm and totally cured us of taking this trip. Anyway, the children are older and there's no real need for Grandma and Grandpa to be there. So, we are now copping out and sending gifts cards to everyone's favorite places so they can buy exactly what they want. Our other son, a bachelor, comes to our place and we enjoy a Florida Christmas complete with warm weather and sunshine. I'll take that any day!

    Hope everyone takes time to enjoy Thanksgiving and to remember what the day really means. Thankfulness for what we have is so important. Christmas doesn't need to be pushed. Let a bit of time lapse before jumping right in. I think it adds more excitement to do it that way anyway.

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    1. Hi Connie. I love the idea of gift cards. I keep asking my fam and they keep not giving them to me lol

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  9. Sandra,
    Thanks for visiting us on Lady Scribes! I don't like to be rushed into holidays either, so I completly understand what you mean! I'm thankful for my health and the health of those I love!

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    1. Thanks Julie. I always feel sorry for Thanksgiving. It gets the bum's rush.

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  10. I am very thankful for my health and the health of my family. My mother went through breast biopsies earlier in the year when mammograms and ultrasounds were inconclusive... Results came back as benign but it certainly gave us all pause for a week or two and was certainly a wake up call. Unfortunately I am not eligible to have a mammogram - not at the magical age insurance deems you old enough for the preventive testing - and I can't afford to pay out of pocket, but I am much more in touch with myself to make sure I notice any changes over time.

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    1. Thanks for visiting basichs :-) Glad everything's okay.

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  11. I'm thankful for my family & my health.

    Enjoy your holiday!

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  12. I also hate that stores, and people rush through Thanksgiving, tho our family gathers for noon meal and then we all visit a long time. And, people have made Christmas just a day of expensive gifts instead of celebrating the birth of our SAViOUR! It is so much about the gifts that too many kids don't even think about what it really means. It is a day that I get to see most of my large family, which isn't nearly enough for me. I have many things to be thankful for. Thankful for all of GOD's miracles. My three precious great grandbabies that I got in May, July, and Oct. That makes me 19. The last baby girl has a pretty bad clef lip and pallet, but, I thank GOD it wasn't cancer. At least they can fix this. I'm thankful for a close friend has finally finished treatments with Chemo and Radiation and so far the results are good. Then, I'm thankful that GOD has given me another year to enjoy my family and friends! I would love to win this book and book swag.
    Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  13. basichs, do you live near a Rose center. They are a breast cancer institution that is strictly for mammograms and bone density test. If you can't afford it, they will help you get it, for they are that concerned for all.
    You need to check it out. It is in Houston. where I go. Maxie

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  14. Thanks for coming out everyone. Randomly drawn winner is Sheila. I'll be sending out an email shortly!

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