Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting on the Christmas Bus

Note:  Dear Readers, 

In my on going effort to confuse everyone,  I have changed the format of my posts.  At the end of the first couple of paragraphs,  you will see the words "read more".  Click on the "read more" to open up the rest of the post.  This change was made in an effort to ensure the emailing of  my blog to my subscribers.  

When does the Christmas season start?   When I was a little girl it started on December 13th.  Nothing Christmasy  (OK...you spelling purists...I know that isn't a word...get over it)  started prior to the "12 days of Christmas". Today it would seem, that the Christmas season officially kicks off at the Hobby Lobby in August. Christmas is well represented in September in all the big box stores.   Lest we forget,  Christmas and commercialism go hand and hand, these days....so on the outside chance you aren't aware of it...THERE'S ONLY 44 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

Why am I bringing up the subject of  "when does the Christmas season really start" you ask?  (If you aren't asking...too bad...I am going to tell you anyway.)

 In years past, I have made it a mission not to jump start the season.  Somewhere around mid-December, I start my shopping usually to finish up at the very last minute. I tend to thrive under pressure.  I admit the pressure is somewhat reduced now that some stores stay open on Christmas Day.   So far I have not had to resort going to Walgreens on Christmas morning to finish...but I (theoretically) have a few years left to put that to a test.

My alter-ego, Crabby Pants is a big believer in not starting Christmas until there is a Partridge in a Pear Tree coming her way.  

click to enlarge
Crabby Pants usually scowls until Dec. 13th and then puts on her happy panties.

This year, however, I (and Crabby Pants)  have obliterated the "wait til December" rule by going to Branson, Missouri.

Thought Number One:   Christmas officially starts in Branson on November 4th.  (at least it did this year)

For those of you that are not familiar with Branson, Missouri, it is a tourist destination that boasts the nickname of  "Live Music Capital of the World.."  While most people associate that music as being Country music that's not entirely true. (only partially true, ...there are a sh** load of country music entertainers there)  There are a lot of theaters and entertainers that aren't country oriented, as well.

Branson's has a number of fun things to do to lure the tourists in.

A. There is a huge theme park that is built around Marvel Cave, called Silver Dollar City.   (I will try to do a post on that soon as it is great fun and time/space doesn't allow me to elaborate today)

B.  It is a mecca for senior citizens.  According to AARP, I am one... because everyone  at the ripe old age of 50 gets an  AARP card. Which, by the way, I take total UMBRAGE with. (yes, I realize the use of the word umbrage, isn't helping my cause of convincing you that I am not a senior citizen for at least a couple more years)  What the hell? Even now after a few years of having a card that seemingly does nothing for me, I still think it was sent prematurely. This association is supposed to help the cause of RETIRED people.  Who retires at 50?  Those select few that have enough moolah to retire at 50 don't need AARP's help.

C.  Table Rock Lake - The Army Corp of Engineers finished building Table Rock Dam in 1958 which backed up the White River to form a 52, 3000 acre clear water lake.

not so pretty from this view

much prettier from this view

Anyway...back to the early Christmas kickoff.   In years past we made our way over to Branson in December to be fa-la-la-la-ed-up prior to the holidays but this year we went a tad earlier. As the weather was mild this year, we wanted to hang around Silver Dollar City longer and not freeze our buns off, we went in mid-November.  As it turns out so did 90 percent of the senior population in America. (I know I am taking liberties with the percentage but considering the number of buses in Branson, I think I am pretty close to accurate)

buses hauling shoppers to Branson Landing
Had I figured out that my phone can do panoramic photos, I would have
shown the gazillion buses more accurately.  Maybe next year.

 While my intent was to go over to Branson, see some fun shows, meet up with my wonderful brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and eat a lot of good food that I wouldn't normally eat and not be overly concerned  with my "Christmas isn't supposed to start until mid-December" philosophy...I got sucked in the festivities.

Bright lights make it Christmasy
Pictures don't do it justice

Not that you can see it but there is a pianist in the Gazebo playing Christmas

The big Christmas tree lights continually change colors.
I threw this one in...just because I thought they were pretty.

Thought Number Two:  For this year and this year only..Crabby Pants is allowing a little Christmas in November.

Join Top Sites Tuesday and be #1 on BlogDumps!
The purpose of this Meme is to encourage
Networking between bloggers and to have fun while doing it!
Make sure to visit all the other participants and leave comments


Chubby Chatterbox said...

It's refreshing to read a blog where someone isn't moaning about Christmas starting too early this year. Enjoy!!!!!

Cheryl P. said...

Well, I guess the bright side is that Crabby Pants didn't start bitching until Nov. when she could of done a post in August with pictures of the Hobby Lobby aisles.

I will say that if anything could put a little Christmas spirit in person it is being surrounded by Christmas lights and music.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I'm torn about when Christmas should start. My birthday is Dec. 15th, so growing up, my family would buy the tree (ALWAYS a live one) the weekend before my birthday, and then decorate it the following weekend. Anytime after my birthday was fair game for Christmas. Which seemed completely reasonable to me.

I'm a horrible procrastinator, so I typically do all of my shopping in the week before Christmas. I keep telling myself I should get on it sooner, but so far I've not had much luck. And by that, I mean that the only "productive" thing I've done so far shopping-wise is to ask my parents and siblings what they'd like for Christmas. No shopping yet. Maybe next weekend, because I'm NOT about to brave the Black Friday crowds.

I loved the pictures! The Cincinnati Zoo does a Festival of Lights that is similar to that. It's wonderful. Total winter wonderland. Trinity and Gabe love it.

And you're DEFINITELY not a senior! You've got a long way to go before that term applies. And if we're going with the expression, "You're only as old as you feel," then you'll never have to worry about being old!

Cheryl P. said...

Kimberly, I am so glad to see you back. I saw that you have a post on today and as soon as I get home to my big computer to read it, I will. Iphone reading is a bit of a push.

We have this in common. My birthday is the 13th of Dec. so that's when my family put up the tree and started the 12 day count down. That what feels normal to me. I usually wait at least til Dec. to buy gifts unless, I happen to see a perfect something during the year. The last few years, I have bought the majority of things off the Internet.

I think things change a bit when kids aren't still living at home. Your household still has a lot of holiday traditions being made. I do decorate and bake and such because of the grandkids but still not the same.

Age...ugh...as I am leaving my 50's, things are starting to sound old. I did get a boost in Branson though. 60 seems really young compared to the masses there.
I probably need to move there and feel younger. (although to tell you the truth, I don't feel old yet)

Lia said...

I wonder how Crabby Pants would feel if she were in my place, working in Target with big "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" signs all over the place. I'm just glad the cash registers aren't near an audible radio with Christmas music playing.

Haha Branson is forever in a bad spotlight thanks to this post. I will from here on out, think of it as inappropiate Christmas galore!

The way my family did it in the Philippines, we started in the first week of advent, in accordance with the Catholic church. Of course, Christmas in America isn't at all religious, so it doesn't make sense to do that anymore huh? I vote for a Christmas beginning with the end of Thanksgiving. I feel bad when people get super excited over Christmas when Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet!

Happy holidays!


Wolfbernz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Yes, Christmas does seem to start earlier and earlier each year. I rmember not having to think about a tree until after Thanksgiving was over, usually Black Friday. This year I saw Christmas Trees going up a few isles from the Halloween and fall decorations. It's really silly how they've marketed Christmas so terribly.

Clicks for a great post and beautiful pictures!

Trina said...

Branson sounds like a very festive place. However in looking at those photos I can't help but to wonder how high thier electric bills get with all those lights!?! LOL


Jo-Anne said...

For me it starts arouind the middle of November my birthday from then till the end of the year I wear Christmas shirts and Christmas jewellery and but my Christmas decorations up around the end of November.................I hate seeing Christmas stuff in the stores to early it really pissess me off............

Cheryl P. said...

I would hate to work in retail this time of year. But when my husband and I first got married he worked in retail and loved the Christmas season.

I have mixed emotions about Branson and their Christmas extravaganza. It's great fun and gets people in the mood for the holidays. AND everyone there is so friendly and nice. But starting too early does wear thin before Christmas actually arrives.

I love the religious side to the holidays. Our church has a lot of seasonal traditions that put a non-commercial side to the holidays.

Cheryl P. said...

Thanks Wolf, I agree that it gets earlier and earlier. I wish that Thanksgiving was the start of the Christmas season but I guess retailers keep moving it up to maximize their profits.

Travel safe!!

Cheryl P. said...

I wonder if they don't get free power off of the hydro-electric dam that is right off their back door. Silver Dollar City importance to the Branson tourism and economy would warrant them getting free power. If they have to pay for it....it's a LOT.

Cheryl P. said...

Seems like birthdays are a kind of marker. Because I have a December birthday, I tend to like to wait until December but really I wouldn't be upset with the season starting in November. It's August and September that seems ridiculous.

Katherine Murray said...

Christmas. UGH. UGH. UGH. UGH. HATE IT. Now before you call me scrooge. Look at how people act. Look how they are acting now. Lines. Complaining. People in debt. STORES PUTTING CHRISTMAS STUFF OUT MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME. I hate it being early. What happened to the "olden days" when I was a kid. No tree up until a week or two before Christmas. And then you keep it up until Epiphany. That's January! :) I have neighbor's whose Christmas trees are up right now, and the day after xmas the tree will be on the street. I would be sad if we did that.

Cheryl P. said...

I wouldn't think of calling you Scrooge. I hate that Christmas is being diluted in it's over saturation. I like the thought that trees would go up just a couple of weeks before the 25th and come down early in January. We, also, already have trees and lights up in our neighborhood. I haven't gotten my stuff out yet and don't plan to until Dec. It's all just too much. Even though I enjoyed my week away to Branson, it's a good thing that it is at least Thanksgiving week. This is the absolute earliest I can even begin to think about it. (and frankly, I would of been a little more "into it" if it was a couple of weeks later....just couldn't work that out time-wise)

lisleman said...

Just one thing in your post that I dislike - the Christmas countdown. Really? we need to be reminded when Christmas arrives. We are going to wake-up Christmas morning and not know it is Christmas if we have celebrated it before? The countdown only puts pressure on.
I've been to Branson a few times but only in the summer. Did the helicopter ride last time.

oldereyes said...

Back to the topic of considering the same topics, I was considering a post about Christmas starting after Halloween, which it seems to have done in CA this year. We have a community nearby called Eastlake Village, which includes many houses around ... you guessed it ... a lake. It has become a competition between the home owners to outdo each other and truthfully, it's quite pretty. I think maybe I'll do a post on it this year. I love Christmas lights and Branson looks delightful. My Inner Curmudgeon likes to gripe about the way people act and the early decorations and how commercial it is, but I've got this big kid inside that loves it.

Happy Thanksgiving, Cheryl. And thanks for being such a regular reader.


Brenda said...

Christmas in Branson looks beautiful...now I am thinking about meeting up with my sister who lives close to Branson and other siblings who might like to meet up there next year if the weather is good! BTW - I am a Christmas decorating hold-out also, but have to admit my house looks a little dismal when the whole neighborhood is lit up even before turkey day is over! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Cheryl P. said...

And here I thought I was being funny...you are right of course, that was part of my point about the over-the-top commercialism of Christmas. Why are we counting shopping days in regards to a religious holiday anyway? I hate that people feel pressure around the holidays.
I saw that helicopter ride and considered it. We frankly just ran out of time. This is the first time we went out to Silver Dollar City around Christmas. It is really pretty decked out in all the lights. The crowds were daunting though.

Cheryl P. said...

Again, we have something in common, Crabby Pants may gripe about the over commercialism of Christmas but those pretty sparkeling lights are awesome. We went to see a theatre and to watch a stage production of "The Christmas Carol" while we were in Branson. AWESOME...I can get all soft and sentimental about Christmas. In a perfect world, I would prefer it to be in December when I start going Christmas crazy.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well. No need to thank me for reading your blog...truly a joy to read.

Cheryl P. said...

You should go. It is so pretty down there right now...not to mention your sister would probably love to see you. Let's hope that next year gives us a mild Fall as this year did. By then more of the tornado damage would be rebuilt. There is still some of that hanging around.
I agree, while I try not to rush the season as I feel like we have lost track of what the holiday is about...I do love seeing all the pretty lights and decorations. In my neighborhood a few lights are up but I think the bulk will go up next week once TG is behind us.

lisleman said...

oh I think your post was funny

meleahrebeccah said...

I really hate how everyone is in such a rush to blow through the holidays so quickly. No one seems to take the time to enjoy one celebration at a time. I can't stand when Christmas shopping and decorations are up before freaking Halloween.

"While my intent was to go over to Branson, see some fun shows, meet up with my wonderful brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and eat a lot of good food that I wouldn't normally eat and not be overly concerned with my "Christmas isn't supposed to start until mid-December" philosophy...I got sucked in the festivities"

Well I am VERY happy to hear you had such a good time!

PS; It's REALLY difficult to capture Christmas lights with a camera!

Wendy said...

In my house, the LIVE tree goes up as soon as they have them.Like anytime soon. I love siting in the house, with only the tree lights on, in the early morning drinking my first cup of tea.I have so many happy memoirs of my young lads with the tree(lego men on adventures and the like) that I am more than ready to begin the memories. I am not so much into the getting/giving of gifts. But, the joy of those memoirs. Ah, that I will never tire of. Lovely joyful post. Even Crabby pants deserves a break sometimes.

Cheryl P. said...

Agree...Any decorations before Halloween should have a monetary fine attached. The money can go to children's toy drives.

It's all about balance. Sometime around December people should start getting into the spirit of things and enjoy the season. Not the spend, spend, buy, buy stuff but the good stuff like spending time with family.

We invested in a really good camera but have yet to figure out how to use the thing. There are classes at a local college but it is currently so much easier to use my point and shoot or my Iphone. Unfortunately, the night pics and anything with bright lights don't fare well. C'est la vie.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree...there is something magical about just having the lights of the Christmas tree light up the house. We typically put up the tree in early December.
Same here on the gifts. Love giving them but not big on receiving them. We just have more than we need at this point in our lives. There is so little I need or want. I feel the need to start downsizing my stuff not adding to it.
But the fun of being with our family and seeing the cute reactions of our grandkids to Christmas, that is great fun.
Yes, Crabby Pants has her cheerful moments...
Have a great Thanksgiving, Wendy!!!

meleahrebeccah said...

Oh I'm all for getting into the Christmas Spirit, the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

I also just bought a fancy smanshy camera, and I haven't a CLUE how to operate the damn thing.