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Mixing holiday décor; what’s the obsession?

Column by Anthonette Klinkerman

“Whatever you do, don’t cross the streams.” Bonus points for those of you who recalled this line from the movie “Ghostbusters.” I couldn’t help but recall it myself when I inadvertently crossed my holiday decorations this year.

Pumpkins and Christmas lights? Well, the stores can get away with it (sort of) but for my own home this seemed like blasphemy. Christmas decorations are not to come out of the box until the day after Thanksgiving. (I don’t shop on Black Friday – I am not that much of an adrenaline junkie.)

This year, the extended mild weather prompted us to get our lights up the weekend before Thanksgiving. I think we won the neighborhood bragging rights to being first lighted house this year, but with a scarecrow windsock still blowing about on the porch the victory was bittersweet.

I never understood the retail rush to get holiday stuff out before Halloween, but they do it every year. It starts infiltrating the candy corn aisle little by little until the next time you walk in to the grocery story there’s a giant inflatable Santa greeting you while you are still wearing flip-flops.

What are the retailers saying? That people need to be reminded that they only have 360 more shopping days until Christmas 2011? It feels like it. “Falling behind” is probably the biggest faux pas an American can commit.

The fear of coming in second wasn’t what prompted me to get busy. I was ready to get out the holiday décor because my daughter’s excitement at spotting the first Christmas lights while out driving one night was infectious. It was time to put up the OUTDOOR lights whether or not we had already celebrated Thanksgiving.

And therein lies the disclaimer for all you legal types. The INDOOR tree and décor remained boxed until after Thanksgiving. I never could quite figure out the commercials where people are sitting down to a Thanksgiving Day meal and there is already a tree lit in the corner. Now that’s just wrong.

But to the pumpkins (fake) still on the porch amidst the greenery, my apologies. I was ready early for the season, ready for the lights and the nostalgia, ready for the feasts and the magic swirling around my seven-year-old.

Okay, that and putting up lights in 40 mph winds and -20 degree wind-chill isn’t my husband’s idea of fun.

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