Is it ever too early to decorate?

Published 9:35 am Saturday, November 29, 2014

A few weeks ago after attending services at my film church,* I went on impulse to the shopping mall in Norfolk just to look around.

Sure enough, the holiday decorations were already strewn about in most of the stores and along the walkways. On the ground floor, an elaborate pavilion for children to meet Santa Claus was ready for His visit.

At one point I thought about asking a security officer to get all this under control and put a stop to the madness. Thankfully, the next immediate thought was not to say anything. After all, what could he do, especially since the mall paid his salary? Writing tickets or ordering shop owners to put everything away until Nov. 28 wasn’t realistic. Then there was also the idea that he’d look at me as I were loony to suggest some restraint. Silly me.

Of course, none of what I saw should have been a surprise to me. In retrospect, I’d seen it all before starting 10 years ago when I worked seasonally at The Pottery Barn.

I could live in that place.

Speaking of which, when I walked by that day I saw a display of mugs in the shape of winking and blinking Santa Clauses. That not only reeled me quickly inside the shop, but also sent me on the path of some half-remembered memory that my brother and I had such things as children.

Snapping a phone photo, I relayed the picture to my mother asking if she recalled these in our family from years ago. She didn’t think so, and suggested checking with my brother. He didn’t remember them either, and proposed that dementia — not memory — was to blame.

But now that Thanksgiving is done, it’s time for me to start thinking about the season. Christmas cards are usually a must for me. Decorations, not so much. That would require that I clean my apartment first. Or, on second thought, I’ll just throw tinsel over the stacks of anything that doesn’t move and keep the lights low until the 12th Day of Christmas…or the 21st of March.

Stephen H. Cowles is a staff writer for The Tidewater News. Contact him at 562-3187 or *He attends services at the Church of the Flickering Light, also known as the Church of the Immaculate Projection, also known as the First Look Film Forum at The Naro Expanded Cinema.