Do you think Bing Crosby rolls over in his grave every time “Silver Bells” gets piped over a store’s loudspeaker in September? It’s always a race this time of year to see which arrives first: a frost advisory or a catalog of Christmas tchotchkes. But taking care of holiday shopping right now isn’t as chestnuts as it might seem. Look at all this stuff between September 1 and January 1:
- First weeks of September: Schools start
- Within a month: Rosh Hashanah
- Last day of October: Halloween
- Three to four weeks later: Thanksgiving
- Two to three weeks later: Hanukkah
- Within a week or two of that: Christmas
Kind of looks like you’ve got whole weeks of free time—especially if you aren’t from a family that mixes Jewish and Christian traditions. But if you’re in school or have kids in school, then you’ve got back-to-school events and logistics to iron out during September. Then there’s the cobbling together of costumes, maybe a Halloween party thrown in for good measure. Soon after, the invitations to holiday parties start to trickle in, gobbling your weekends. Of course, there’s always a birthday or two somewhere in the mix. Don’t forget the cooking and the baking. There’s also the snow shoveling. And last but not least, the sniffles, flu, and colds.
Did you know that Christmas is included on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale used by psychiatrists?
That’s a list of 43 stressful life events that can contribute to illness. (You can use it to tally your own risk rating here.) Long story short, if you put off holiday shopping until the busy season ahead, you’re kind of setting yourself up for the perfect storm.
Fine jewelry is no impulse purchase, so if you’re thinking about getting engaged or giving a symbolic gift of jewelry this December, now’s a great time to shop. No sane person wants to fight crowds, be rushed, or fight over inventory when buying, say, an engagement ring. And the sooner you get your major purchases made, the more you can enjoy the holidays ahead. Because before you can say Happy Hallowanukahmas Eve, the wild ride will be underway.