Friends, I don’t want to spring it on you but today is October 25, which means you have only two months until Christmas Day. And if you think about it, it’s less because Christmas and Thanksgiving stores will be closed. Wait, this just in… Most retailers will be opening on Thanksgiving night at 8 pm to get a head start on “Black Friday” mania.
And to my Jewish friends? Well, this year, Thanksgiving is a dual holiday. That’s right! Before halftime of the second football game, you will be lighting the Menorah and spinning dradles, and handing out the first night’s Chanukah gelt. So you have only about 32 days to shop and be ready to please friends and loved ones.
By the way, here is a “Frank’s Fun Fact” for you. The Jewish calendar is getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1,000 years (not bad for a many centuries old calendar!) This means that while presently Chanukah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Chanukah can be is 11/29. The last time Chanukah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Chanukah will ever overlap with
Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Chanukah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79,811. Just so you know.
When I turned on the TV, I checked the channels QVC and HSN. Guess what? It’s Christmas Day on both channels, with trees, lights, wreaths, candles, etc, both to decorate the set and for sale at ridiculously low prices. In fairness, I will tell you, I have bought Christmas decorations from both channels over the years and the product quality is excellent.
And be assured that both channels will be in overdrive through November and December to make certain the warehouse is emptied of all the novelty, one-time only, and holiday ideas and decorations. After all, preparations for holiday stuff for next Christmas will begin, probably on December 26. Anything left over will be sold during “Christmas In July” promotions as clearance items.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently about how much Christmas has been commercialized. She related to me that when she was a child, her grandmother thought how commercialized Christmas had become back in the 60s and 70s. Imagine if Grandma saw how much worse it has become.
Folks, remember that Christmas, Chanukah and Thanksgiving are not only holidays for gift-giving, but also for reflection of the events of our lives for the current year. We spend more time with our families and friends during this time more than any other, sitting down with them over special holiday feasts. But as with anything involving food, the food is the excuse to be together, not the reason.
So, as the train moves faster to our special days, try to keep pace with the engine which drives us to the holiday season. Have a good next couple of months preparing for the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” because “Surviving Christmas” is really the goal. Then, we will all be able to have a great “Christmas Vacation”, knowing really “It’s a Wonderful Life.”