November 20, 2014
Even though frigid air is nipping at our noses and we’re bundled from our head to our toes-es the familiar warmth of the holiday season is upon us. Yes, blustering in on the tip of frosty morns is that time-honored season of intimate family get-togethers, eggnog and stolen smooches under the mistletoe. Actually, it’s practically here as Sunshine noted when we drove through Conover a few weeks ago (pre-Halloween) she asked why the Christmas decorations were up already. “Umm...no clue.” I shrugged.
Dickens, remember the benchmark used to be Thanksgiving? Yet for years now, disguised as a cleverly cloaked marketing manipulation, retailers have been staging Christmas tree displays practically on top of huge blow-up Jack-o-Lanterns. Goodness, if this aggressive marketing trend continues Santa will be carrying a plastic pumpkin and handing out candy instead of asking children if they’re on the Naughty or Nice list. Can you imagine Christmas lights in orange/yellow/red/green combos to more effectively coalesce the holiday seasons? Or fake cotton spider webbing serving double duty as creepy wall décor and festive new fallen snow on a ceramic village. Oh, and what if candy corn came in white, red and green? Dang, all this sounds like an unrealistically farfetched advertising blooper, however, I wouldn’t doubt for a minute someone has thought this pre-pre-season selling scheme through, complete with strategies outlined on a drawing board, as I type.
However, it’d probably be more pragmatic to throw a dart at August on a calendar and move Halloween up a few months. After all, the only holidays I discovered in August were two Catholic, one Jewish and two International holidays. (One “Friendship Day” the other “Left-handers Day.” Wild.)
Anyway, shifting Halloween interference would technically free up retail conglomerates who already deem October a fertile breeding ground to commence enticing consumers to spend, spend, spend promptly by seducing us with tantalizing merchandise displays chock-full of holiday ‘gift idea’ cheer; their idea of spreading Christmas cheer is actually distribution of Christmas advertising dollars across the calendar.
Well, I declare here and now “Not me!” They could leave their Christmas lights on all year long and it won’t mean diddlie squatting on a fruit cake to me. By jingles, I promise to resolutely adhere to my traditional last minute frantic sleigh bell shopping custom. Those big box stores can wrap holiday shopping up in all the advertising glitz and glitter and it won’t turn my head one iota toward early bird sales or brightly colored flashing displays. No siree snowflakes! My eggnog is chilling in the fridge till my Thanksgiving turkey turns a picture-perfect chestnut brown. That’s right; I refuse to be bamboozled by the temptation of moving Black Friday up to the prior Sunday (pre-Thanksgiving) before I’ve carefully chosen my plump, plucked poultry out of the grocer’s freezer.
Feel assured you also won’t catch me making laps around the parking lot like a NASCAR driver in training waiting to screech into a parking place in an insensitive display of faux holiday spirit. Neither will I be snatching a reindeer tie from the frail hands of a little old lady from Pasadena, or making a mad dash to the cash register after hurdling over a row of shopping carts simply to max out my credit cards.
In other words, I prefer to continue my daily routine, ignoring the commercialistic dog and pony show of advertising gimmicks and hold fast to the true essence of the Christmas spirit. Family and friends, love and happiness, eggnog and rum...
Okay, all jokes aside. Let’s make this holiday season memorable by embracing those we love, caring for those in need and spreading joy to all who cross our path...a Christmas spirit that can last all year.
Can you imagine...an abundance of love, joy and happiness this Christmas?
Smiling warms the heart.