All posts tagged Christmas

And The Holiday Push Begins

Published August 1, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

It’s July. July. October and Halloween are 3 months away. Since Halloween occurs at the very end of October, one could even say Halloween is 4 months away.

And yet, my local Jo Ann Fabrics has Halloween decorations out. Some are already on sale! I bought a tiny poison bottle from the Halloween collection, and it was already marked 30% off. In July.

For a moment I thought Well, Jo Ann’s is always pushing the seasons, this isn’t any different. Last year, they had all the Halloween stuff out, and were beginning on Christmas by August. No one needs Christmas decorations in August. Honestly. No one.

But after Jo Ann’s, I stopped at the local Dollar Tree. They also had begun the Halloween stuff. Granted, Dollar Tree wasn’t shoving a full-blown display at me, but they already had little pumpkin and witch votive holders out on a shelf. By the way, Dollar Tree also puts out Christmas crap an aisle over from Halloween crap.

The crap sediment aside, I truly love Halloween. I have built up a cool little display (well, I think it’s cool) from Dollar Tree Halloween buildings I’ve repainted to actually look nice, to thrift shop finds like my witch mannequin hand.



Everything in the photo is from the Dollar, a thrift shop, or a garage sale. Except the bottle labels. I bought those on close out at Jo Ann’s one year. Even those paper lanterns are from the Dollar Tree (they light up purple). And yes, even the little lights in the houses are Dollar Tree lights .

So yes, I do love Halloween. I love having all my creepy crawly stuff out. I love looking for more little things to add to my display (last year I got a skelly vulture on after Halloween clearance. I’m looking forward to perching him on a shelf somewhere). What I DON’T like is how retail shops are pushing and shoving holidays at us earlier and earlier every year. It is truly getting out of hand when I can buy a Halloween decoration, on sale, in July.

And as I stated earlier – no one needs Christmas decorations in August. The retailers are also trying to sell us heavy coats, gloves and winter scarves in the hottest month of summer. SUMMER, people. Who the heck wants to try on a down jacket when it’s 90+ degrees outside? And trying to sell us swimsuits in January is not really off setting that.

I don’t know about you, but this all makes me tired. It also tends to suck the joy of the holidays out of me. It’s too much thanksgiving /Christmas/whatever-you-celebrate/New Years for me. I much prefer my holidays one at time. Then I enjoy them. I don’t feel like it’s all been shoved in my face to hurry up and do, so I can move on to the next one.

Too bad retail shops can’t figure that out.




Holiday Haze Is On It’s Way!

Published September 30, 2014 by mindfulofchatter



September is drawing to a close. October is already peeking out from behind September’s last page on the calendar. Soon the walnuts will begin to drop off the trees. Halloween is just around the corner. And I love Halloween. Well, actually I love any excuse to dress up. Halloween is grand because it means the chance to attend fancy dress parties, haunted houses and practice the art of FX make-up. Perhaps even attend a zombie walk or two.

The local Dollar Store is great place for Halloween goodies. They have loads of skull glasses and mugs, witchy hats, little zombies to haunt your little graveyards, twisted trees, trick or treat bags, treats, garlands, stockings, Santa faces, holly, ornaments……

Hey! Wait one cotton pickin’ minute! Santas? Holly? Stockings? That is CHRISTMAS stuff!! Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Who started this grand idea? Christmas in September?? No. No, no, no, no, NO! September is ‘back to school’ month. September is the beginning of autumn. September is colder mornings and warm afternoons. September is NOT Christmas. It’s not even close to Christmas.

I hate this. The retail community keeps forcing Christmas on us earlier every year. This has got to worse if  you don’t even celebrate Christmas. It isn’t even October yet. We haven’t had Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. Can we please have one frakin’ holiday at time? Huh? Can we try doing one at a time, instead of all at once?

I understand the craft and fabric stores putting out christmas fabrics and crafts. If you are making gifts, it takes time. But can we just leave the Christmas decorations in the boxes until it’s a wee bit closer to actual Christmas time? Here I am happily perusing the little gravestones, twisted trees, tiny zombies and mausoleums. I turn the corner and am smacked in the face with gaudy gold reindeer, stockings and all sorts of Santa items. Okay, it might help if I watched where I was going, but you get the picture. I don’t want Christmas slammed into my face months before the month of the actual holiday.

I also know that the months of endless Christmas carols is sneaking up quickly. It is in stealth mode, waiting pounce upon those of us innocently listening to the radio as we drive. ‘Raise Your Glass’ will suddenly be followed by ‘Jingle Bells’ (Can we please not over play ‘Jingle Bells’ this year? Pretty please? With sugar on top?) and we will find ourselves sucked into singing along. Again. And it won’t even be Thanksgiving yet. Maybe I ought to just put up the Christmas tree now and call it happy.

A local radio station here goes all Christmas Carols All The Time in December. This sounds pretty cool, if you like Christmas carols, but I swear they only have about 10 records. Okay, make it 15. They play the same versions of the same songs over and over and over again. How about this year you guys play some Sing Along With Mitch? You know, break out of the box and play something ‘new’.

I understand the world of retail. I really do. But this decking the halls months before the holiday is getting a bit old and worn. I like to shop for, and enjoy, my holidays one at a time. Let’s romp through Halloween before we hit Christmas. Let’s give thanks before we run out and deck the halls. Let’s slow down a step or two.

Let’s remember what the Season is all about. And let’s try to remember that little tidbit all year long.

Making The Holidays a Wee Bit Happier

Published December 16, 2013 by mindfulofchatter



It’s the much-anticipated, and dreaded, holiday season. There are cards to send, decorations to be put up, relatives to put up with and gifts to be bought. The stores are crowded. The roads are crowded. We are all a bit stressed and in a hurry. But we still want good customer service. So?


Step one:

BE A GOOD CUSTOMER. You heard me. Stop being such a jerk. Don’t yell at the poor clerk trying to help you. That clerk may not have the authority to do what you may be asking her/him to do. Ask for a supervisor or manager if you are asking for something beyond store policy. And ask politely. This works on the telephone a well. Yelling at the overworked, underpaid rep will only get you ‘disconnected’ and no one will be happy. Really. Your yelling and making a scene is completely uncalled for. And you look like and ass. Not pretty.

Step two:

BE A POLITE CUSTOMER. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is in your shoes. Everyone forgot to get a gift for Great Aunt Milly and is rushing about trying to find something for her. Everyone has rellies coming. It isn’t just YOU. Take a breath. Count to 10 (or 20 or 100) and calm the heck down. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. Help someone with too many packages to their car. Hold doors open. Smile. Above all – be patient. Do you know what happens when you do that? Others ‘pay it forward’. They smile. They hold doors. They let the lady with one item go ahead of them in line. They say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. It is contagious. The world becomes a little happier as a result.

Step three:

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE FOR CUSTOM ITEMS. I work in business that makes custom items. We have a stream of customers who NOW want 20 to 100 custom items made before Christmas. A lot of them ‘have been thinking about doing this for a while now’. So we now have to work harder, and longer hours to get them finished on time. While I am not complaining about the extra hours (meaning extra pay), I still find frustrating to deal with someone who waited until a week before Christmas to follow through on a thought they had in November.

Step three:

DON’T BE A WANKER ABOUT THAT CUSTOM ORDER. Oh don’t give me that look. You know who you are and what I mean. You’ve waited until the last-minute. Now you want to be über picky about colors, style and the like. That’s fine. But listen to the people who making the items for you. YOU have no clue how to do this. This is why you came to us. WE know how to do this. What works, what doesn’t work. Be open-minded about suggestions so we can get your items made. The more you change your mind, the less chance we have of getting your things made on time. When we tell you white on white isn’t going to show up, please believe us. Oh, and along that line? White is white. There is no ‘dark white’ or ‘light white’. After white, there is off white, ivory, beige, tan etc., or silvers and grays. 

Step four:

DON’T BE ANNOYED AT HOW SOMEONE WISHES YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY. I don’t give a whit about how someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. It not how they say it, it’s the thought behind it. They are wishing me joy and happiness. They are being warm and caring. So be it ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Holidays’, Happy New Year’, or whatever, I am pleased they are thinking of me. I say ‘ Thank you, Merry Christmas (or whatever) to you also.’ I smile. I am happy someone wishes me well. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy your holiday season. Spend time with the people you love. Call, text, or write. Do whatever you need to do to reach out to those who live far and away. Smile. Laugh. 

And make the holidays a little happier for all of those around you.