In the musical “Mame“, Auntie Mame decides that she “needs a little Christmas” early. She exhorts her nephew Patrick to “put up the tree before my spirits fall again”, even when he reminds her that it’s still a whole week before Thanksgiving.
Clearly, things have changed since the Depression Era, the setting for this musical.
Today, people would be shocked if the retail world WAITED until a week before Thanksgiving before they started to stock their Christmas decorations. I’m not sure why I am caught off-guard each year when they begin decorating the display trees in October, but there is some naive part of me that KNOWS the inherent madness in decorating for Christmas a full two months before the holiday itself, and hopes that maybe, just maybe, this year will be different.
This year is different. Allow me to elaborate.
In anticipation of a lower-profit holiday shopping season, Wal-Mart, the granddaddy of the discount retailers, announced an “early” Black Friday. Their “big holiday sales” began on Friday, November 2nd. They are also playing Christmas music throughout the stores.
Speaking of the melodies, I’m ALL about Christmas music. I love the stuff and would play it in July if it weren’t just wrong. But seriously, when I’m hearing Christmas music as I do some last minute candy shopping ON HALLOWEEN, I think Santa must’ve been hitting the sauce.
A local radio station that typically switches to a Christmas music format between the day after Thanksgiving and December 26th is ALREADY playing the holiday tunes this year!
I’m not even going to get into the commercialization or secularization of Christmas (a CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS holiday, celebrating the birth of JESUS CHRIST, the SAVIOR), because that’s a whole different rant. All I want is to be able to celebrate holidays in their own time. The approach of fall, the harvest/Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I’d love to wait until, say, December 1st before I start seeing signs of Christmas, but I’d settle for a whole week before Thanksgiving.