So, my holiday list has several check-offs: I've got my cards and addressed them but I need stamps. I bought some presents and stocking stuffers but haven't gotten them all. I need some new tags and bows. I plan on decorating Thanksgiving weekend and putting up the tree with my sister's help. Reservations for Thanksgiving dinner have been made. Oh, and I'm going to see Thor 2: The Dark World tomorrow. Yay! :)
A couple of generations ago Christmas shopping started in earnest the day after Thanksgiving, but now we seem to have Christmas trees and music in stores the day after Labor Day! I buy presents throughout the year and store them away until it's time to wrap them because if I see something I think would be good, I buy it. Most of my shopping takes place in the autumn, though. And purchasing chocolates and fruit and other goodies (oranges in the stocking!) of course takes place close to Christmas.
I enjoy the holiday season. There's extra to do but so what? Life can be so humdrum that it's nice to have special things to do and look forward to. My advice for people who stress out is to organize. Even if you're not ordinarily an organizer, try it for the season. If you can get things done pretty early you can sit back and enjoy the season instead of worrying about running out to an overcrowded mall and getting that last present. Most presents are forgotten in six months or less, anyway. Some can be memorable but when I read stories about people camping out in front of stores and ditching Thanksgiving dinner, I wonder where their priorities are.
Enjoy the holiday! These are precious times. People in 1940 might have taken the season for granted. By 1941, they knew nothing would ever be the same again. Grab your piece of history because the tides of history swirl on inexorably and it's up to us to enjoy what we have when we have it. :)
BTW, a little more info on the JFK special here.