And You Run and You Run

“Appreciate, people, appreciate!”

That was the rallying cry from the Eldest today as we made our way through the mid-day crowds at Whole Foods. I don’t usually get to shop there this time of year; usually by mid-November it’s so encased in cinnamon-scented goodies that I can’t risk it. Despite the lack of cinnamon (yeah!), there was ample evidence of the upcoming holidays. Both Christmas and Thanksgiving were well represented. We’d already been to Borders, passing through the gaudy pink and purple glittering trees as we entered. A trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond was thwarted by a quick recon mission by the Eldest, who decided that she wanted me to live a little longer. Yup, more cinnamon. (Whatever happened to pine-scented goodies? Too religion-specific? Of course, someone’s probably allergic to that too.)

While all of the holiday decor is probably meant to promote cheer and purchasing, what it did to the Eldest and I was promote a feeling of frustration. Why can’t we celebrate one holiday before the next starts? Christmas decorations go up in stores long before Halloween. Halloween stuff started appearing about the time back-to-school shopping was going on. Retailers get a double-bonus with Memorial Day and Fourth of July – between those two holidays, patriotic gear reigns supreme for several months. Easter stuff appears before Valentine’s Day ends, and Valentine’s Day kicks in as soon as Christmas is over.

This constant barrage of celebratory swag adds up to holiday overload. It’s as if the retailers can’t survive without a holiday to promote. There’s no time to celebrate one holiday. Everything has to overlap. Why can’t we just appreciate what we have in our lives right now without the urgency to prepare for the next big thing? What’s the rush?

The never-ending holiday rush leads to us feeling like we’re somehow behind, like if we’re not prepared soon enough we’ve failed. We seldom take the time out to enjoy the holiday. It’s reminds me of the beginning of Pink Floyd’s “Time,” when all of the alarm clocks are going off at once.

Every Year is Getting Shorter
Never Seem to Find the Time

Perhaps if we took the time to enjoy each holiday, one at a time, instead of having them flow into each other, time would seem to go slower?

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