Archived Story

Iowa already is in the Christmas spirit

Published 9:13am Monday, November 21, 2011

Column: Something About Nothing

Iowa is an interesting state. It seems every time I visit my son in Iowa I become aware of unusual things happening. So I wasn’t surprised to have something that I consider unusual happen when we entered Iowa the second weekend in November.

We had no more then crossed the Iowa state line by a few miles when the Iowa radio station that we were listening to decided to play a Christmas carol. I thought it was a little early for Christmas music, but it was just one song.

As we traveled deeper into the state of Iowa our radio station faded, and we turned to a station in Des Moines. I felt like I had entered another month. This radio station was playing Christmas music not just one song but every song.

I checked my calendar to make sure I had not traveled forward in time. No, it was still the second weekend in November. I hadn’t missed Thanksgiving Day. I didn’t see any snow, and I didn’t know if it was colder outside my vehicle to precipitate Christmas music.

I started getting into the mood and singing along with the carols. I felt like I should shout “Merry Christmas” when I entered my son’s home. After all we usually listen to Christmas carols the entire trip when we are making the journey to Ankeny on Christmas.

We spent the day with our grandkids and traveled home listening again to all Christmas music on the radio.

Why do we rush the season? I must admit the carols made me feel better and uplifted my spirits. Is that the reason the stores are opening earlier and Christmas music is playing earlier? Do the merchants and radio stations work together to try to cash in to the fact that us stressed Americans need Christmas to feel better. The music gets us into the mood. Will it feed our shopping frenzy?

Or was the Christmas music to calm us down before we become stressed about missing the sales that are now going to start on Thanksgiving. Was the music to calm us down before our stressful holiday season of Christmas cards, Christmas shopping and all the details we become so obsessed with over the holidays?

I was very sad to see that the stores were going to open on Thanksgiving evening. Greed in America is alive and well. We have to stand in line for the awesome deals worried that we won’t get in on the bargain. We are willing to miss family dinners and family time to get to the store early enough to shop. The stores would not have to call their employees in on holidays if we as consumers were not so frenzied about Christmas shopping and the latest and greatest deal.

But then I am old and I remember holidays when stores were closed and families got to spend time with loved ones. We played games, ate turkey, went to church and got closer as a family.

It doesn’t matter what religion we are, it seems that corporate America has stolen our time and we have let them, whether it is stores being open on Sundays and holidays or kids having tournament and games on days that used to be reserved for families and family time. These days were a time to reconnect, be thankful and relax.

In my old age I have realized that there will always be another sale. In my old age I have realized that my house doesn’t always have to be perfectly decorated.

In my old age I have realized that it doesn’t matter if I might burn the vegetables on Thanksgiving. My family is still going to love me if I don’t buy them the latest and the greatest. They are still going to love me if I possibly do not have my house decorated with all the bling. They are still going to love me if I burn the vegetables. Family time is what is important.

I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and time spent with whatever relaxes you and makes you thankful.

As I am writing this column I received my first Christmas card. It was from an Iowa friend. I told you Iowa was magical and special. Those Iowegians are on top of things. I am thankful for Iowa friends and family.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at