I can remember when Christmas wasn't really mentioned until the week of Thanksgiving, the holiday sales started with Black Friday and continued. People didn't decorate until at least the day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Music was nil until then as well. But every year, it gets here faster. It's already been here for awhile, I can think back to shopping for costumes last month and thinking "Let's get through Halloween first!" But lo and behold, it's catalog city in the mail every day, and the shopping bustle has begun. My own Christmas cards came in the mail the other day, ready to be slipped into envelopes, addressed and sent to our nearest and dearest all over the country next week. (And it's a great picture, if I do say so myself!!)
No Black Friday shopping in our house. If you've ever worked retail in your life, ever, even if it was ten years ago, you will most likely never want to shop on Black Friday ever again. I still remember my time at the mall, working at the customer service desk that year and wishing I could crawl under a rock.
So my message to everyone out there in the throes this weekend....be kind to each other, and to yourself. Smile to your fellow shoppers. Be nice(r) to the people who work in the stores. Be generous to your family as you're begging the kids to sit still during the damned holiday photo. There is no such thing as a "perfect" holiday, and the memories you're making are much more important than the gifts. I know I risk sounding preachy, but so be it.
I find myself saying the same thing I do at the beginning of every holiday season: this year is going to be less stressful involving the holidays. Less Stress! I am not going to put pressure on myself. And, as said every year.....THIS YEAR I MEAN IT. :)