Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas season starting VERY early

Some of you regular readers know that I love Christmas, and that I'm the kind that says "Merry Christmas" instead of the generic "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" (What kind of greeting is "seasons greetings" anyway? Why the hell are we greeting a season? I never understood that). I've had columns and blog entries on this very topic, but in short I've said that, just as I can wish a Jew "Happy Hanukkah" or a Muslim "Holy Ramadan", a non-Christian can say "Merry Christmas" to me. None of us have to belong to the faiths of those holidays in order for our wishes to be sincere.

However, this year I noticed that many stores had already put up Christmas decorations when it wasn't even Halloween yet. It made their displays a scene right out of the movie, The Nightmare before Christmas. I love Christmas, but even I have to admit that this is too durn early! Yes, retailers need to make their money, and the Christmas season is their season to make their money. But how much more money are they going to make by starting the season before Halloween as opposed to starting it at least closer to Thanksgiving? Traditionally, the Christmas season started the day after Thanksgiving, in which at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santa Claus would appear in his sled and reindeer.

I suppose that retailers would reply by saying that, with all the time, planning, and investing it takes to set up the Christmas season, they need more time to get things going, and with so much depending upon a successful season, they need to maximize the duration of the season so that they can maximize their profits. It's all about money, in other words. Christmas didn't use to be the big deal that it is now - the familiar hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is largely their doing.

But it's not just the retail outlets that are starting too early. Radio station KVIL in Dallas is already playing Christmas music 24/7! See, 24/7 Christmas music is another issue altogether! How many times can you hear the many variations of "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" before going nuts? And I do not wish to hear "Frosty the Snowman" (what does he have to do with Christmas anyway?) and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in any way, shape, or form for many, many years to come.

So by the time you're bombarded with holiday decor at retail outlets and from holiday music on the radio (not to mention all the holiday specials on TV), one gets a case of Yuletide Overload - by which time that one is tired of Christmas - and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! Part of me thinks that there is a conspiracy out there by the anti-Christmas crowd to give us too much of what we want, so that we get tired of it, but then I think, "Well, they're being bombarded by all that as well - and why would they put themselves through more of what they don't want?"

Nope, the profit theory makes the most sense. So put up with the blinking lights and cheese holiday songs, folks. It won't be over until - gasp - next year.

And here I am talking about all this! ;-)

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