So we all know that Christmas comes directly after Halloween. In fact, according to Hallmark, that evil card company that likes to make up holidays to make money and depress those of us who are single, Halloween doesn’t even rank that high anymore. Its Christmas ornament display started going up at the beginning of October people. How ridiculous is that?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year. I loved it so much as a kid my dad had to make a rule to limit my Christmas music playing fun. Not until the day after Thanksgiving could I pull out my extensive collection of Christmas music. There is a radio station in this city that started playing carols on November 1st. So much for Thanksgiving.
Now, on to my latest adventure. Today I explored Frankenmuth, Michigan, or as it has cleverly nicknamed itself “Little Bavaria” (i.e. Tourist Trap in the middle of nowhere Michigan). It’s a cute little town. I did for a moment think I’d stepped into some little chalet town of Germany. It has a charming architecture theme, an impressive covered bridge and more chocolate hauses (sp?) then I knew one small town could hold. However, the town is not the main attraction. Frankenmuth is home to the world’s largest Christmas store. One and a half football fields big. As my friend said when we entered the store, it is Christmas on Steroids.
The girl who adores Christmas all of the sudden discovered it was possible to have too much of it. It wasn’t just that this was Christmas on Steroids, this was a Christmas explosion, of sensory overload, of a holiday so far beyond steroids it makes that enhancement look tame. One simply does not know where to look first. Not too mention there are hundreds of people moving in every direction possible. The store was not big on a traffic flow. Theme-wise, and this from a girl raised on Disney theming, less is more is a good rule of thumb. You have shelves upon shelves of ornaments, lights, Christmas trees, giant reindeer for the front yard. That speaks for itself. You do not need to line every inch of the upper walls and ceilings with Christmas bric-a-brac as well. I felt like I was under attack and the ceiling of friendly polar bears and penguins, cheerfully decked out in lights and garland, was coming down on me if I did not start filling my basket immediately.
That said, if I even need to find an ornament for my flamingo loving friend or a relative who can’t get enough of his John Deere tractor, I will know where to go. If you cannot find it in Frankenmuth folks, it cannot need to exist. So enjoyable though it was to find a place so near devoted to my favorite holiday, I would have to say once a year will be more than enough to visit that Christmas Wonderland. After awhile a headache ensued from the colors and lights and sounds. Not to mention I’ll be singing “We Need a Little Christmas” for the next week before I can drown it under my own personal Christmas faves.
So join me now if a moment of silence for our dearly departed Thanksgiving holiday. How we do miss you and the buffer zone you placed between us and this out of control commercialized Christmas that engulfs us from October until January (who are we kidding? We shop for it all year long). Personally, I’ll keep to my dad’s rule. Even the girl who loves Christmas (I mean, I can recite “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” off the top of my head…) realizes there is a limit to even her holiday tolerance.