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anne_mikolay_120The trick-or-treaters had barely grabbed the last Hershey bar from my candy bucket when the very first television commercial of the Christmas season aired. T-Mobile got the jump on their competitors and pushed their T-Mobile pink clad advertising elves onto the screen in October. While my kids claim it's never too early for Christmas, I don't much like pairing pumpkins with Santa Claus. Call me Scrooge (my kids do), but I believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. Of course, I am not a retailer pressured into rushing the season of cheer to fatten the bottom line; surprisingly, though, one retailer agrees with me.

Nordstrom will not be decking its halls until November 25th. According to Nordstrom Public Relations representative, Aubrie Corey, withholding holiday decorations until the day after Thanksgiving has been a longstanding Nordstrom tradition. Wow! A major retailer willing to oppose the masses and march with the wooden soldiers to the beat of a different drum? In this day and age of mass consumerism, I applaud Nordstrom for honoring the true season of Christmas.

Back in the day when mom and pop shops lined the main street in my hometown, Halloween was celebrated solely in October, Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the town commemorated the beginning of the Christmas season by stringing evergreen garland and wreaths across the main road.    When December rolled around, the decorations were lit during the evening hours, clearly declaring the season of cheer.  Kids waited with bated breath for those lights. It was  something special, a “Norman Rockwell” gesture I appreciate to this day. Those holiday decorations lasted only weeks (not months) and, thus, were of greater value. At the risk of sounding like Scrooge again (I hear my kids laughing), beginning the Christmas season in October when kids are barely settled into a new school year and are still lost in corn mazes, prolongs the holiday season, which drags on and on and on. The actual arrival of Christmas is consequently somewhat anti-climactic. Retailers rush the holiday and blur the very reason for the season. Christmas is not supposed to be about purchasing the biggest blow-up monstrosity available for your lawn, or being the very first to put Christmas lights on the house, or the first in the door to buy the latest electronic gadget.  I have no beef with anyone who seeks to prolong the joy of Christmas, the good will to men, longer than a few weeks in winter, but I have a problem with merchandisers who put the almighty dollar before the Almighty (sadly, that's the way of the world today).

That being said, I repeat: kudos to Nordstrom for being different, for being true to the season of Christmas! When we have digested our Thanksgiving turkey, then and only then, let the holiday season begin!