Thursday, November 15, 2012

Warning - Holiday Season Levels Rising

It's time we all admit the battle over “when Christmas season should begin” is lost forever. What began as a slow creep over the past few decades has gained seemingly unstoppable momentum. This year, the harsh reality set in as Holiday music started blaring on November 1st, broadcast over every easy listening station and piped through all the speakers at our various shopping arenas, turning fall Christmas-list-making families into zombie-like gift buyers. 

At the current rate of change, the Christmas Season is projected to start just after Labor Day by 2020.  It’s frightening, but true.

As we know, the first casualty is Thanksgiving, which has now been fully enveloped by its Holiday brethren. And Halloween is under threat. Don’t believe me. Target had trees and lights up even before the candy corn went on clearance this year.

Of course, all those who’ve been sounding the alarm bells for some time -- the ones who we all considered, well, alarmists – are being proven right. Maybe they were a bit overboard with the dire warnings about the disappearance of Thanksgiving. But with Christmas swag replacing cornucopias as acceptable turkey day decor, they can smugly say, “I told you so.” Because they did.

It’s not just the general d├ęcor that has changed. Thanksgiving Day itself is a mere wisp of what it used to be.  In the olden days (about two years ago), we used to watch the Macy’s Parade, have a family feast, and see the Detroit Lions lose a meaningless football game as everyone napped. Then we’d end the day by stuffing our faces with more pie than humanly possible while engaging in colorful discussions with extended family.  

Now, all that is asunder -- at least the last part. Sure we still have the parade, and the turkey, and the Detroit Lions, and even the pie-eating. But rather than one or two family members storming off in wine-infused disagreement, hoards of them pile into the car and head to K-Mart, were sales begin at 8 pm. These are people, mind you, who wouldn’t find themselves dead in K-Mart the other 364 days of the year. And that’s just the warm up. This year, plans are in place to move up the annual Walmart stampede by a whole twelve hours. That’s when daring shoppers crowd the streets of Pamplona in the hopes of being crushed by giant HD televisions. I might have my ludicrous traditions a bit confused. But the point is clear:  Black Friday, has now become Black Thursday Afternoon.  And Thanksgiving has changed forever. 

The only question left, what are we to do about this seasonal calamity? 

The obvious solution:  we should move Thanksgiving.  If we do so, we can create an impenetrable wall of holidays in October. Consider this:  the 10th month already has Columbus Day and Halloween. If we move Thanksgiving to October, we would forever halt the slow creep of Christmas. Of course, in this plan, we would leave Veteran’s Day on November 11th, as it would be an affront to our veterans to do otherwise – and, that holiday would also create sufficient resistance to slow the further advance of Christmas.

Moving Thanksgiving may sound drastic. But it is our only hope.

Then again, there is one other thing we could do. But, nah. It’s too crazy. It would never work. 

But I'll put it out there, anyway.  Since we are just brainstorming. Here goes. We could all stay home on Thanksgiving and ignore the Black Thursday afternoon sales. We could set our alarms for 7 a.m. on the actual Black Friday, and all meet at the mall at 8 a.m. – like we used to.  (I’m not suggesting this so I alone can get the deals. I swear).  And we could turn off the Christmas radio stations and let them know we will listen to them the day after Thanksgiving, thank you very much.  If they want to extend the season, they could go back to playing Holiday music until New Year’s Eve, rather than switching to slow songs that make me want to hurl on December 26th.  That would be nice. 

We could also … Oh, who are we kidding. This option will never work. It's just crazy talk. Let’s move Thanksgiving.  It’s the only realistic solution.

But let’s also remember, the enemy here is not Christmas. Properly contained, it is the most wonderful time of the year.  Free to set its own limits, however, it becomes less so.  Working together, I believe we can contain it. 

There is still hope.  God bless us, every one.

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