Monday, November 25, 2019
I have always known in my heart that the Christmas season does not start in July (as Walm-Mart thinks) nor does it start after Thanksgiving (as many of my family think). No. It starts the day after Halloween.
Those who think we need to start selling Christmas Trees and Santa ornaments when it is 102 degrees outside need no conversation. They are sick and need help.
For those who think you have to wait till after Thanksgiving "because you can't skip a holiday" please give a moment to my argument. It just might convince you.
So this Sunday I sat on my couch and watched the Atlanta Falcons continue their self-destructive season. But I am a loyal, life-long fan so I watched every minute. At halftime, I did what every arm chair quarterback does. I got up, said hello to some of my family who were elsewhere in the house, made myself something to eat, maybe ask my family and friends what they thought went well thee first half, and got back in time to watch a little bit of the halftime show. Sound familiar? If you are a football fan you should be nodding your head.
So, let's transition. What do I (and most Americans) do on Thanksgiving? Well, we get up and go see family members, talk about what went well last year, make some food, and catch a few parades on t.v. That's right, we do halftime activities.
The Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. The first two weeks of November are the first quarter. Set up your lights, start talking about parties. You know, set the pace of the game. Get control of the game clock.
Last two weeks of November is quarter two. You had best be considering how to budget your time outs (who will you travel to see), some instant replay (of last year), playing good defense (not over committing in December), and establishing confidence in the run game (never too early to start shopping).
Thanksgiving. Halftime. Relax. Well.... until the start of the third quarter...
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Local Tuesday, Scandinavian Wednesday, or Thrift Store Thursday all represent the start of the third quarter. Sadly, most people are like my beloved Falcons. They don't really play the first half and come out way behind. Don't do this. The third quarter should involve some coaching assist and tweaking of your game-plan, not an overhaul.
By December 14th the person who doesn't start till after Thanksgiving is in a panic. Unprepared, behind, and pinned in their own end zone. It is sad to watch. But someone who plays all four quarters with a confident plan... can focus on putting in the newer talent, resting your star players, and managing the clock while already enjoying your victory. That is right... you can look toward charities and acts of good will.
So there you have it. Enjoy your Christmas Halftime this year. Eat some Turkey, talk to family, and highlight all the good pre-Christmas work you've already done in the first half. Or leave the table half-full to go stand in line at midnight because you didn't play the first half.
In 1991 Dr. Lanza walked up beside me as I headed to lunch. He asked why I hadn't signed up for his creative writing class. I did, and his class changed my life. I then and there decided someday I wanted to write. Fast forward 25 years... After several careers I stepped into teaching so I could have time to write. Thus, here we are! Thanks Dr. Lanza!