It Seems Christmas Comes Earlier Each Year
I was driving home from work tonight and was playing around with the channels on my radio when what to my wandering ears should I hear, but a radio station playing Christmastime cheer? Well, that’s not exactly how the poem goes but you get the idea. Here it is only November 19th -one week from Thanksgiving- and B1o1, a local Philly station, is playing Christmas music 24 hours a day. I haven’t even sat down to eat that sumptuous Thanksgiving feast I wrote about in my last post and I’m already getting bombarded with the holiday season. I thought the Christmas season didn’t start until Santa showed up at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. What the hell happened?
Actually, I shouldn’t be surprised. It was two days after Halloween when I saw my first Christmas commercial. At first I thought it was a parody of some kind and then I slowly realized that it was nothing but a lousy Christmas commercial. I almost dropped the Halloween candy I was eating as I looked around my living room that was still decorated with Jack-o-lanterns, witches, and skeletons. It sure didn’t look like Christmas, at my house at least. But the commercials kept coming.
And it sure doesn’t feel like Christmas. Christmas is winter and snow and hot cocoa. We’ve had a fairly warm fall and half of the trees still have their brown leaves clinging to them. In fact, we have a tree around the corner from my house that still has yellow leaves on it. It’s kind of weird driving around in a light jacket, with leaves on the trees, the grass is still mostly green, and I’m listening to Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart sing, “Baby it’s cold outside.” It’s definitely not cold outside. It’s the fall and Thanksgiving is the Autumn holiday we should be preparing for, not Christmas! Not yet…
So after I got home today and walked Dave, I decided to head out and get Heather her birthday present. (Her birthday is 11/24) It’s a really cool coat that she saw at Kohl’s and she fell in love with it. Unfortunately, we were there to buy her cook and bakeware for her new house and I told her that was all I was getting her. But I remembered that coat and since I had a coupon for 15% off when I used my Kohl’s card, I dashed off to get it. (Don’t worry. She won’t find out. Heather never reads my blog and has no computer or internet service at her new house.)
I jumped into my car, turned on the Christmas music (what the hell–I’m a sap), and headed off to Kohl’s. One and a half blocks from my house is a nursery. As of yesterday, it was full of dried corn stalks and the last of the season’s mums. Tonight, it was filled with wrapped Christmas trees. Standing upright in neat little rows, they kind of looked like a cross between a green rocket and a closed beach umbrella. And then a few houses down some schmuck put up a lighted Christmas tree in his front yard.
I felt like I was in some twisted Twilight Zone movie, with the car moving in slow motion, staring with my mouth agape first at the trees for sale and then at the lone lighted tree. The wind was blowing leaves across the street and a soft rain started to spittle against the windshield as Rocking Around the Christmas Tree eerily played on the radio. I half expected to look in my rear view mirror and see Rod Serling sitting in my back seat.
It seems that every year, everything gets pushed back earlier and earlier. Stores hold their end-of-summer and back-to-school sales in July. Halloween starts the beginning of September. I remember being in Walmart, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, staring at orange and black colored bags of fun-sized candy, plastic pumpkins, and witches hats. What I was looking for was a beach towel because I was heading down to the shore to visit Amy and Juan at a beach house BUT the summer items seemed to have disappeared. And let’s not even talk about Thanksgiving which has turned into nothing but a prelude to Christmas. Want a turkey platter? You have to dig through the piles of Santa mugs, snowmen bowls, and reindeer plates just to find one.
I know what it’s all about. Retail sales. The all-mighty dollar. Money-Money-Money. Get the customers in earlier and earlier and hopefully they’ll buy more cause they have more time to buy more. I know we’re in a recession folks, but this rushing things started way before this recession did. And I’m sick and tired of being pushed through seasons and holidays way before their time. Stop shoving Christmas down my throat before I’m ready for it. I’m going to be 50 next year. I not in such a hurry. I know it’s coming and I can wait for it. Slow down, America. Let Christmas come in its own time. Remember, part of the fun is the wait. Ho! Ho! Ho! and pass me some stuffing.