You did not misread your calendar. This is November. Christmas is a month away. Hey, Advent doesn't even begin until next week.
I would like to say that my neighbors waited until after Thanksgiving to put up their 'holiday' lights. But I can't. As I have written before, I enjoy the experience from an ironical perspective very much. Unlike in the past, last year at Advent my lovely wife Sharon (in a doomed but laudable attempt to make us slightly less weird to our neighbors) came up with the idea of putting up purple Advent lights. The kids like it, but to me it makes our home look like a haunted house. At a neighbor's housewarming party earlier this year, the display was much remarked-upon. But hey, one neighbor did say their kids understood the Advent theme. Sweet progress.
Yesterday, our neighborhood association held its annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the local park. The event is fun for the children, with carriage rides, Fredbird, hot chocolate, and even an appearance by that beloved, elfin man of wonders, Mayor Francis Slay.
Oh, and Santa, too.
Now, to show just how oblivious I am, I assumed this event was always held on the first Sunday of Advent. But no, my lovely wife Sharon assures me, it is always the Sunday after Thanksgiving, come you-know-what or high water. You can understand my forgetfulness, as I have only lived in this neighborhood for ten years. At least it is still called a Christmas tree lighting.
And I even write this post in a place filled with poinsettias, the sound of the Salvation Army sectarian bells ringing in my ears.
So, dear Catholics, still in November, still waiting for the waiting period of Advent to begin, still "bitter" and "clinging" to your outdated ways, I wish you a very happy week of Silly Season.
Maybe cyber shopping is a good retail-approved "Carnivale" before heeding the words of St. Paul this Sunday, in Romans 13:11-14:
And that, knowing the season, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed And the day is at hand. Let us, therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ: and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
The above frame is from the comic strip, The Duplex, by Glenn McCoy