Early signs of Christmas deserve holiday jeers

Little in life upsets me more than premature Christmas, but it’s that time of year. The time when Halloween is still more than a month away – though I particularly recall orange, black and purple bags of candy loaded on the shelves at the grocery store on my Sept. 1 birthday.

But Christmas trees are nevertheless inching their little pines out of storage.

Saunter into the “outdoor” aisle at Walmart or the gift shop in a Cracker Barrel restaurant and you’ll see exactly what made me stop in my tracks Monday night. The trees are not only out – they’re lit, decorated and ready for presents.

They may be tucked in obscure little corners for now, but those lights are too bright to miss.

It’s happened. Christmas has made its way to September.

In case places like Walmart and Cracker Barrel aren’t aware, we’ve still got a solid three months before Christmas day.

I really don’t hate the holiday in general, and I’m all about giving and receiving gifts whilst paying no attention to the real reason for the holiday – i.e., Jesus’ birth.

I agree – it’s a nice day when all is said and done – but that’s the thing; it’s only one day. In December.

The build up can drive a woman mad.

Seeing those brightly-clad evergreens before the first snow has fallen does not bring joy to my heart, like the retailers would imagine. It really doesn’t make me want to spend my money at their stores, either.

Actually, it makes me want to scream into my pillow for an hour or two. And maybe religiously avoid leaving my house for a couple of months.

I just don’t have time for Christmas right now. The day itself may be bright, happy and chipper, yes, but the month or so before it is absolute mayhem.

Come November, my brain will be wracked with awful questions; like what in this wide, wide world to buy my father, and how I’m ever going to make enough money to afford this blasted holiday?

But in November, the fall semester will be coming to an end. I can trade in my overstuffed school-brain for my turkey-laden present-buying one. I can take the time to figure out exactly which shade of blue tie I haven’t already purchased for my dad.

Those are not things I want to be thinking for threemonths, though. And, yet, here I sit writing about it.

I get that, especially in tough economic times, the holiday season is a retailer’s saving grace. But why must we start the season so early?

Give us at least another two months to get used to the idea.

Let me at least figure out what my Halloween costume’s going to be before I have to think about Christmas.

Once Thanksgiving hits, I’ll be all about it.

I say go crazy, retail. Play your holiday tuneage and scam bargain-hunting customers out of their very last pennies.

But until then, oh retail gods, leave your Christmas trees in the back room.


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