That is the natural order of things.
I am a purist and always have been. To fully appreciate the seasons, you must partake one at a time, and in the proper order. None of this skipping ahead for Christmas and neglecting the only holiday focused on gratitude. That is how I saw it even as a very small child, and I would fight for it, tooth and nail.
Which is why I am flabbergasted by this year. Even before Halloween was over, I was having inclinations to decorate for Christmas. Also, I have always loved Halloween. It has been my favorite holiday my whole life. I didn't even decorate for it this year. Don't get me wrong, I have had my fall decor up since August. Fall has the prettiest decorations of all. The colors and smells are just so homey and cozy. I typically put up Halloween on October 1st but this year I just didn't. I seem to have had a subtle paradigm shift. Halloween, while fun and delightfully spooky, is all about celebrating the darkness. And I don't need any lectures on the origins of the holiday because I am well aware of them. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is a favorite of mine, and it delves deep into all the roots and symbolism of Halloween. But any way you look at it, it is a celebration (or had slyly turned into one) of devils, witchcraft, and demons. Don't get me wrong, though. We still went trick or treating and fully enjoyed the day because I have kids and days Like that area made for kids. It's half the magic of childhood. Keith went as Sans, a skeleton guy from a video game he enjoys, Faye went as a hipster and she nailed it! Beth was Hermione from Harry Potter, Vince ended up being Spider Man, and Kip was an elephant, but he stayed home and helped pass out candy because I just didn't want to push a stroller and pull the dog on his leash. Taking the kids out was the perfect opportunity to walk the dog. But we didn't watch the usual movies of Hocus Pocus, Casper, etc. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with them, either. I own both and many others besides. It just didn't feel right to put so much focus and emphasis on the holiday that celebrates the opposite of what we want to achieve.
During General Conference in October the prophet asked us to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, paint special attention to every time the Savior is talked about our mentioned. It has been spectacular! I have noticed a huge shift in how often I think about Him now. I can't wait to get my Christmas decorations up because that will be such a beautiful visual reminder of the role of Christ and the hand of God in our lives. And that is where I want my family's focus. To be fiercely fixed on why we celebrate Christmas. I want to pull my nativities out and have them be the focal point of my living room. I want my home to be full of happy musical voices rejoicing in the birth of the Savior of the world.
(not my nativity, but super cute nonetheless!)
I find myself anxiously awaiting the first snow. Yes, I love to watch the snow fall and to see the world completely cocooned in the softness of winter snow, but it's more than that. The snow seems to be the harbinger for the season. And anyway, the snow would just match my mood and it seems to fit already. And so every day I check the weather, and every day I am disappointed but still hopeful that snow will come soon (and all people who are sleeping rough can have a warm dry place to stay) because I have a new roof and can't wait to welcome it's maiden voyage, so to speak.
Tomorrow the Christmas lights go up on the house and I am so excited!
Also, lest ye think I have turned hypocrite, we are going to have a Family Home Evening on gratitude, complete with a gratitude tree that we will add to every day.
I still value the order of holidays and not completely bypassing any of them, I have just finally seen the value in celebrating the birth of Jesus longer than just 25 days so fraught with greed and shopping and so many distractions that are unnecessary, that the actual reason for Christmas gets forgotten and Santa and the religion of consumerism reigns supreme.
Happy Holidays everyone! 🎄☃️✨