Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It’s never too early to celebrate Christmas

Note: This column appears in the 12/1 issue of The Glendale Star and the 12/2 issue of the Peoria Times

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I know, weird, right? I’ve always been different, I guess.

I’ve been looking forward to this particular Christmas season more so than any since I was a kid. That’s because of our daughter, who is at an age now where she is starting to get it. Granted, she is convinced she is going trick-or-treating on Christmas morning, so I’m not saying she’s a genius, I just mean she’s at the point where she understands that Christmas is something to be excited about.

Sure, a part of me is living vicariously through her. Last year when Santa got her a miniature baseball set, I immediately redirected her to her other toys so I could play with it, and became legitimately upset when it told me I had hit a “single” after I crushed the ball so hard the entire thing fell over. I’m sorry, but if that’s not a home run, I don’t know what is. More so than that though, and corny as it may sound, watching her eyes light up for everything related to Christmas is a better gift than anything I can even imagine, with the possible exception of a larger, more accurate baseball set.

I also feel like Christmas is come and gone before we even know it, and so I have always been a proponent of starting early. I mean, it all leads up to the day, of course, but it’s really a season, and should be celebrated as such.

However—and this brings me to my point—what in the heck happened this year? Are you kidding me with how early Christmas started!? Absurd. ABSURD.

The commercials, the advertisements, the terrible Lifetime movies, the neighborhood lights, the music … it all started immediately after Halloween this year. I was sitting at the Kia dealership in Peoria getting my oil changed Nov. 5 and they were playing Christmas music. It’s the music that really gets me. Every year I look forward to hearing Christmas music and getting myself in the holiday spirit, and after 20 minutes of hearing the same three songs I’m ready to drive my car into an embankment. If you’re starting with the music on Nov. 5, I am never going to make it. I am never going to make it.

Word on the street is businesses started early this year to jumpstart the economy. Now, I’m not naïve to the commercialization of the birth of Christ, and I really don’t want to get on my soapbox here, but if you’re marketing this religious holiday super early for the sole specific purpose of making sales, you—capitalist society—have truly missed the point.

This has been under my skin since Nov. 1, but I didn’t want to comment because I felt if I complained then about Christmas starting too early, I would actually be contributing to what I was railing against. But here it is: Christmas starts after Thanksgiving dinner, and traditionally after a family viewing of "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving." No sooner. This is non-negotiable. I am not opposed to legislation specifying this.

Because it won’t be just this year with the economy excuse. You can’t go back; you’ll only keep stretching the limits to the point we’re roasting our chestnuts at Labor Day barbeques. No wonder our daughter thinks she’s trick-or-treating on Christmas morning. At this point, she might as well be.

So everybody stop it. Thank you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to watch Fa La La La Lifetime movies.

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