Remember when you did not see any Christmas decorations in stores until after Thanksgiving?
There were limitations to the shopping seasons. No red hearts until February 1. No pastel colors and chocolate bunnies until April 1. Red, white and blue began last week of June. October was all about Halloween. Then the Thanksgiving stuff came out as the costumes were put away. And then after Thanksgiving, the big one, the big shopping Kahuna got trotted to make us remember that the only true way to show you love someone is to buy them things.
I remember the year my parents made me freeze my rump off at the Thanksgiving Day parade. Santa Claus on his sleigh was the final float. I thought about how clever it was of the parade people to insert a smooth transition to the holiday season.
But smooth transitions are, evidently, a thing of the past. There was nothing smooth about the purple shiny tree I saw parked in the vestibule at Borders today. No warning, no apology. Just fake shiny trees and a wall of stuffed reindeer. Isn’t there a law against this? Isn’t there something in the Constitution about not being to display Christmas merchandise until the first Tuesday after the first Monday in December? Are the stores really that shameless that they will play that Christmas card as early and as often as possible?
Sometimes I want to curse the corporations’ dilution of the Christmas spirit, blast the marketers’ commercialization of a solemn celebration, and indict the retailers’ sickening zeal to cash in at the expense of the defined seasons that gave structure to our chaotic lives.
And then I remember that I’m Jewish.