I’ve been away for a couple of years now but from my memory, here’s how the countdown to Christmas works:
- At some point in October the shops start putting up their Christmas decorations and people get all sniffy about it. ‘Christmas already? It’s only October!’
- In November the Christmas ads start, and people get a bit sniffy about that too.
- By the time Christmas rolls around most of you are heartily sick of the Christmas rah-rah.
I am never sick of it, because I love Christmas. I love the whole festive shebang: the music, the window displays, the cheesy ads, and all those eating and drinking opportunities.
So I really like the way the Americans do it. By making Halloween into a big card-buying, party-throwing, event, the holiday 'something's in the air!' season can legitimately start in October.
Then comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the best of all. It’s just about getting together for food and drink and football (and you know how I love football). No gifts to buy, just a lot of turkey and candied yams, cheesy family-oriented Thanksgiving ads, and everyone taking a long weekend off. So festive!
It’s not till the end of November that you can really get thinking about Christmas. Up until now it's been lurking in the background, one festive theme among many. But now all the Noel stuff can come right to the forefront. So the true run up to Christmas is nice and short. And yet, that festive holiday season has been rumbling on for weeks. It suits me perfectly.
The only thing the Americans are missing out on is Boxing Day. Maybe I can introduce that little tradition this year in New York.