Yeah, stores start peddling Christmas crap early. But when I saw the eggnog in the grocery store this week, it just seemed weird. Who is buying Halloween candy and eggnog?
Many Christians are gearing up for another round in the battle for Christmas: demanding that cashiers reverently say, “Merry Christmas” instead of the abhorrently sacriligious “Happy Holidays,” and planning the biggest, most garish Nativity scenes for courthouse steps to show everyone why Christmas kicks Hanukkah’s and Ramadan’s asses. Christmas is as American as Jesus and apple pie, and if there’s one thing we take as seriously as America, it’s Christmas.
But we’re forfeiting a key battleground in the fight for Christmas’ spirit, and if we give it up, all may be lost. I’m going to tell you what it is, and propose a new Christmas tradition.
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like I’m Going to Vomit
When I was a kid, it was sad to see a store open on Thanksgiving. That was a radical thing. A store that was open on Thanksgiving was giving shoppers a rare chance to get a leg up on Christmas shopping, a whole day before Black Friday. As we drove to our grandparents, we felt sad for the people stuck working that day.
Of course, now it’s uncommon for a store to be closed on Thanksgiving. And every year, the start of the Christmas season seems to inch forward on the calendar. It starts small, with a few innocent decorations in the back corner on November 1. But now, I pretty much want to projectile vomit on every plastic yard Santa every time I walk into any store, starting on October 1. I’m pretty sure Christmas 2012 will start on Labor Day.
It’s not just secular stores. I think Hobby Lobby has a Christmas aisle eleven months of the year. I hate Hobby Lobby.
Christmas Comes But Once a Year
I guess we can’t blame the stores. We’ve trained them to do this, and they’ve trained us. When Black Friday is the day your business finally makes money all year, who wouldn’t want to try to extend that magic? So, they’ve trained us to be keeping our eyes open for the first sprinkle of Christmas savings.
And like trained animals, we beg for Christmas treats whenever they are dangled in front of us. Stores put out Christmas crap earlier and earlier and stay open on Thanksgiving because shoppers respond. We go out and buy all that junk in October. All that eggnog won’t keep until it’s actually cold outside. Someone had already bought a few cartons of it. What a tool.
Personally, Christmas is so saturated, I need to detox from it for a solid eleven months. It just becomes a routine, not something to celebrate. You know what they say: “Christmas comes but six months a year!” Blech.
That’s what I resent most about the stores. They are taking “my” holiday, a holiday I genuinely enjoy, and are making me start to hate it, dread it, revile it.
It has become clear to me that Christmas is out of control. It has become a hideous, rabid monster whose gaping maw will not be sated with a plate of cookies. It preys on and threatens to swallow up every slower, weaker holiday in its path. It must be stopped.
So I’m proposing a new Christmas tradition.
Saying “No.” Telling stores to just stop it.
Don’t buy your Christmas crap until Black Friday. Get the other holidays out of the way first. Be thankful for one freaking day before you go on a credit card fueled buying binge.
Let’s start an online campaign, and not like “don’t buy gas days,” because those are dumb. If Christmas cannot be beaten, then it must be kept in its cage, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Tell me when does your “Christmas season” start. Are you already on the prowl for early deals, or does the thought of Christmas already make you sick?