November 23, 2020
I was surprised when we went to rescue Melissa’s succulents from work two weeks ago to see that Lowell had already hung their Christmas wreaths on the light poles throughout the town’s main streets. I have also noticed the Christmas candy was available on a back aisle of the local store even while the Halloween candy was being sold. Now it has taken a full presence as we prepare for this next onslaught. The early arrival of store candy was matched by one of my neighbors, who took advantage of the good weather last week to hang their Christmas lights. While they have yet to turn them on, they are ready to go.
When I was director of a conference center in Kansas, I hung over 10,000 lights and set up a variety of creches and displays on the grounds. While I did get help from a workday to hang lights, the bulk of the activity fell to me. That meant I spent most of November making sure the lights had power and the displays were set in place. I saw this as a labor of love to give back to the local community. Visitors varied but there were usually 10-15 cars a night that came through the displays. After I left, the lights no longer went up. Like most good things, you need someone willing to drive them for them to happen.
I have noticed several stores are advertising that due to Covid-19, they are holding Black Friday sales all month during November. Some of the bargains are in the store, but most are available online. We cannot miss this important shopping event; we just make it early. When I was younger Christmas always kicked off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have heard this year’s parade will be more virtual, with the balloons only going a couple of blocks and no bands or onlookers. My first thought is why bother? Then I realized it does provide a semblance of tradition.
Thoughts: I have refused to watch the Hallmark Channel or others that have been airing Christmas shows for at least a month. Like Macy’s, I prefer to wait until Thanksgiving before I allow myself the anticipation of Christmas. The holidays will be different this year. The CDC and even our Governor are asking people to not hold big family gatherings. Some are listening and yesterday I heard of a growing number of airline cancelations. While I do not hold Black Friday and Macy’s parade among my cherished traditions, there are other things I do. I have begun early to think about how to accomplish the traditions I hold dear, while being safe in doing them. I have come to realize, it is still a tradition, even if it is done different. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.