Every year a few days after Christmas, I want to slap some sense into people. It makes me crazy that Americans insist on decorating for the Christmas season BEFORE Thanksgiving, or the day after it, and then take everything down the day after Christmas!!! What the heck...do you decorate for Easter on MLK day or for Halloween on Labor Day?
This is all thanks to good 'ol American consumerism and marketing and has really ignited over the last 25 years or so. Before that, the first or second week of December was the norm. In my parent's day, you brought home a tree Christmas week and decorated it as a family, many times on Christmas eve. Of course, they decorated simply back then and reflected on the meaning of Christ's birth in their lives, not on how adorable they can make their homes look with glitter flakes, miles of ribbon and garland, and wayyyy too many wrapped gifts.
Pay attention to your churches...they aren't celebrating Thanksgiving with red and green florals, and in fact, you won't see any adornments except for the Advent Wreath until Christmas week. This is all for a reason...
Christmas Season begins with Christ's birth and ends on the Epiphany, Jan. 6th. Most homes in America packed up their decorations and have stored them in the attic at least a week prior to this day. I'm giving you a big spanking...STOP IT!
I challenge you - next year, consider decorating your home slowly and beginning no sooner than Dec. 5, or the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas. Certainly do bring out your Advent wreath and calendar at the weekend after Thanksgiving, but slow down the process so that you can focus of the message of the season of Advent, which is to wait...to prepare and pray.
Keep it simple to reflect on the season!