By Carrie Tinsley of Carrie On Y’all
It’s the beginning of fall, and I just made a quickie trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up something for the elementary school’s county fair parade float. While this fool’s errand for a ride on a flatbed trailer behind a tractor is bad enough, even more disturbing is Hobby Lobby’s holiday section. Like the weeds in my garden, the holiday section has taken over nearly half the store and boasts an alarming July-through-January celebratory time frame.
I hoped my quick cruise through the seasonal section would boost my fall/holiday enthusiasm, but instead it made me want to dig in my heels and say STOP. Stop, fellow shoppers with giant pencils, pumpkins, ghosts, and shiny Christmas balls simultaneously in your shopping carts…no one should be this well-prepared.
Hobby Lobby’s holiday section today included clearance items for the 4th of July as well as amazing celebratory detritus for Back to School, Fall, Football, Harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Oh, and some New Year’s Eve stuff for next year in case you’re ready for champagne toasts and resolutions this early.
Um, not this girl. I’m still trying to salvage this year’s resolutions.
When I was a kid, “Christmas in July” was a thing. Santa showed up in sunglasses and Hawaiian shorts with his red stocking cap and partied on TV to promote something, and even then I felt a sense of dread. Why would people do this to themselves? We’re wearing shorts, going to the beach, and starting school. I have a sunburn, and I just bought school supplies. Screw Christmas shopping when my kids haven’t even gotten their first report cards. Santa works on a performance-based incentive metric at my house. (Kidding…sort of.)
This early-shopping trend is upsetting…we’re missing our lives. If I’m shopping in early fall for Christmas, what am I not seeing in the here and now? Furthermore, when we’ve built up a holiday to epic proportions, planning months in advance, buying just the right kitsch, creating coordinating food, table decorations, and clever beverage titles (Touchdown Tequila Shooters, anyone?), the reality can’t live up to the hype.
Some of my favorite holiday and party memories are when I just took it easy, ordered pizza, and served beer from an outside cooler. I don’t want to be the hostess whose party is so perfect that she’s stuck in the kitchen orchestrating it. I don’t want to build up a perfect holiday or event in my head so much that, when my two-year-old ends up with mashed sweet potatoes all over his perfectly monogrammed outfit, I can’t laugh about it.
So no, Hobby Lobby, I won’t be buying coordinating Christmas balls and planning my New Year’s Eve party in September. And while I appreciate a good bargain, there’s no way I can buy clearance 4th of July stuff today and find it or even remember that I bought it come next July.
In a few weeks, I might go back and come home with a cute ceramic pumpkin, and I will have done my due diligence, right? In the meantime, I’m choosing to enjoy life as it is today. It’s kids’ soccer games, homework, making sure their shoes still fit or finding new ones. It’s meeting teachers and feeling the air become a little more crisp, seeing the leaves turn.
Yes, I’ll also be frantically figuring out Halloween costumes the week before, grabbing Thanksgiving recipes from Pinterest, and wildly Christmas shopping (though never on Black Friday or, God forbid, Thanksgiving night…ugh). But that’s okay, Hobby Lobby. I’m living in the here and now, which is okay with me. I guess your holiday decorations will already be there when I finally need them.
About Carrie Tinsley
Carrie Tinsley is a Southern girl, a recovering English teacher, the wife of a very patient man, and the mother of three kids, a dog, and a cat. Lucky for you, she blogs about parenting misadventures and other poor attempts at housekeeping and DIY at Carrie On Y’all. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.