Goodwill towards Mankind and all that crap

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“The Countdown to Christmas Has Begun!”

No it hasn’t, that began in September.

Honestly, Why not just go ahead and start Christmas in July. Hell, keep the decorations up all year. Why not? It’s really what people want.

The first Christmas stuff I saw this year was over Labor Day at Costco. It was Christmas decorations in a Star Wars theme. They were sitting next to the Halloween costumes which were also out too early.

Here’s the thing: Costco wouldn’t be stocking these things if people weren’t buying them. So, who are these people? Who are the people who see a fully decorated Christmas tree in the first week of September and think, “Sure, it’s a full quarter of the year away, but I want to get ready for Christmas now.”

They’re just as bad as the people who refuse to take their decorations down. We’ve all been in a place where you can’t believe the decorations are still up at the end of January. These people are so into Christmas that they have decorations in and on their homes for nearly a third the year.

Don’t you get bored with it? If not, why bother to take them down at all? Why not just go ahead, make the commitment and just have your decorating scheme Christmas.

Or, would doing that get in the way of Halloween decorations? Which, by the way, kudos to the person who sold the idea of giant inflatable yard decorations for the average consumer. They’re unbelievably overdone and the majority are on side streets where no one will ever see it, except the people who own it. Even then, they only see it when they turn it on or off.

Why not just give in and make it the most wonderful time of the year all the year? We can sing Christmas carols all year long, send out Christmas cards a couple times a year, wear our Santa style bathing suits to the water park. It’ll be like Christmas in Florida all year long.

There’s a house near me that put up their light display a week before Thanksgiving. Same thing with the mega-church in my neighborhood. They can’t even let us have a day of Turkey and feasting without rushing into the season. So, yay for them. They win the race, I guess. How much you want to bet they’ll be the last to go down?

As a personal note I don’t start decorating the house until after my birthday, which is at the beginning of December. I don’t like celebrating a Merry Birthday. So we don’t usually get our tree until the first weekend in December. We take it down just after New Year’s Day. It’s pretty simple. Now, hey, if your thing is decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving have at it. It’s a very common tradition. But doing it before that, or keeping it up much after the first of the year is just stretching out a time of year to make it something it’s not.

People who have to make it a longer holiday than it is – and dammit it’s long enough as it is – end up having the firetrap tree. You know what I’m talking about: a standing wooden match. A tree so dry that a spark from static electricity could set it off. One that’s been sitting there so long that the needles fall of when you simply look at it, a la the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It’s a sad thing, the tree is, but not quite as sad as the willful stretching of a holiday that has come and gone

My prediction is that they will start selling Christmas trees the day after Halloween. Mark my words, it will happen. There will be demand and early sales will justify the availability. The Christmas Season will start on Dia de los Muertos and stretch out until Valentine’s day. They already have stores open on Thanksgiving, so that inviolate line has been crossed. The season can be redefined in any way a marketing person wants. Early season sales will try to draw consumers in, although the fake ginned-up shopping day that is Black Friday will remain. Even though it’s not the busiest shopping day by any means, marketers are not going to let go of that image. And as long as they can fabricate a need for people to get into fist fights for electronics there will be a Black Friday. Conversely, as long as people are selfish and hypocritical there will be shopping on Thanksgiving. Which is to say it’s here to stay.

But really, there’s one good reason why Christmas all year long won’t work: It’s because we could never be kind to each other that long. Something about the season sort of brings out people’s better natures. There’s no way in hell people could – or would – do all that brotherhood, charity and be kind to others crap more than the 4 or 5 weeks they’re already forced to do from Thanksgiving to Christmas. People like to be good, but not that often. More accurately, people like to imagine they’re good. But, actually having to do the work of being kind and thoughtful all year long is more than most ever want to do.

Goodwill towards all mankind is nice and all, but really hard to do.

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