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Continue the Christmas spirit

With Christmas Day now behind us, most of you will probably go back to your normal lives. The shopping is done, the relatives have come and gone and some of you may have already taken down your tree.
But wait! The Christmas season has just begun! Some of you might argue that the Christmas season began the day after Thanksgiving, on a day known as “Black Friday,” or maybe even sooner. While I have no objection to taking advantage of these early sales, I really don’t like the ubiquitous Christmas decorations or hearing Christmas music played continuously starting on this day.
The “Christmas creep” is a commercial phenomenon started by merchants and retailers who wanted to exploit the material side of Christmas. The term was coined in the mid-1980s, and refers to a movement of retailers who wanted to get a head start on selling seasonal merchandise to lengthen their selling season and maximize profits. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart and JC Penney begin to put out holiday merchandise even before Halloween.
This is well before the Advent season, a period of anticipation of Jesus’ birth that starts four weeks before Christmas. This is a time when we should be watchful and hopeful. But we really shouldn’t be celebrating. Not yet, at least.
Christmastide, the liturgical Christmas season, begins on Christmas day, and continues until Jan. 5. These days are known as the 12 Days of Christmas. The Epiphany is Jan. 6, the day that is designated by the Christian church to celebrate the visit of the Magi, or three wise men, to the baby Jesus.
While a certain radio station that has been playing Christmas music nonstop since Thanksgiving abruptly stops its broadcast of holiday music at the end of Dec. 25, I hope you will continue to play CDs of Christmas music at least until New Years Day.
Many people put up their Christmas tree immediately after Thanksgiving. If it is a real tree, it might barely make it until Christmas day. Lowe’s and Home Depot, as well as other retailers, start selling trees in October, fitting with the “Christmas creep” phenomenon. The tradition of Christmas trees has been widely practiced throughout the world for many years. The custom can be traced to 16th century Germany. Traditionally, Christmas trees were set up on Christmas Eve, and taken down on the “Twelfth Night,” Jan. 6. This continued when the tradition of Christmas trees spread to the United States during the Victorian Era.
Even if your personal Christmas season started more than a month ago, there is no reason you can’t keep it going for a couple more weeks. I hope you haven’t kicked your tree to the curb or taken your lights down yet. Even though the commercial side of Christmas has hastily ended by Dec. 26, the season can still continue in your home and in your heart.

Liz Crawford is a staff writer at the Ennis Daily News and can be reached at liz@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Dec 26 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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