I looked at the calendar earlier this week, and I couldnt believe it was only mid-November. The Manhattan Mall on 34th Street and Sixth Avenue in New York has its fake Christmas tree up already, Macys store windows are all decked out for Dec. 25 already, and the fact-free zone on Fox News has already started whining about The War on Christmas. Well, kids, I have had about all of this crap I can take. Im picking up my war axe, putting on my mail shirt, and I am getting into the long boat to go a-viking.
I am declaring war on Pre-Christmas.
Pre-Christmas is that time of year when the retailers all try to get me to part with my money by dragging the Christmas shopping season out. Traditionally, we had Halloween on Oct. 31, then Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November, and then, Christmas shopping season would commence. Well, no more.
The neighborhood kids hadnt even said, Trick or treat before the Home Depot down the street had its ultra-tacky Santa decorations for sale. Even the car companies shortened their Veterans Day sale (because nothing says, Thanks for fighting in the Middle East quite like buying a gas guzzling car on credit) to get their Christmas themes on the air.
A traditional Thanksgiving is no longer possible, eating way too much on Thursday, getting an extra hour or two in bed on Friday and round about Saturday coming down off the turkey and pumpkin pie high. Now, you have to wolf down your bird and trimmings to get in the car to go to the mall around 8 p.m. to go shopping. Black Friday is evil.
Its not that I hate Christmas, although I stopped being a Christian a long time ago. Frankly, I rather like the idea of peace on earth and goodwill toward all mankind. What I have trouble with is the commercial razzmatazz getting in the way of Thanksgiving, a day in which you stop to consider that things are pretty good after all you arent dead. Spend some time with your family; even if you dislike them, youll be thankful when theyre gone. Overeat, after all, having enough is something humans have achieved only recently, and some of us havent done so yet. Dont work; we do enough of that. If you dont find it too tedious, watch some football. Take a step back and breathe.
But no. There is consuming to be done, money to be spent, profits to be booked. And for some reason, it is no longer sufficient to do this between Dec. 1 and 24. We have to find a way to pull that December spending into November or even October.
“If I could work my will,” Scrooge said indignantly, “Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” At least, if he says Merry Christmas before he manages Happy Thanksgiving.
Jeff Myhre is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.