In Writing

It bears noting: no, it is not yet Christmas. It is not even a little bit Christmas. There’s still Halloween candy left in that pot by the door and you haven’t lugged the plastic jack-o-lanterns back into the garage. In my neck of the woods, I will walk around in short sleeves today. There is one deciduous tree on my property that is still completely green.

So, no, nowhere near Christmas.

I mention this because when I walked into a local CVS the day after Halloween, it was Christmas in there, complete with tacky plastic angels and chintzy garland. Full-on Christmas all in the middle of the store, like a case of persistent shingles.

Christmas the day after Halloween.

I think those of us old enough to remember a time when Christmas season legitimately began the weekend after Thanksgiving owe history our witness. No, it is not normal to festoon your stores with Santas in October. It isn’t. The reason I think we need to keep making this point is to avoid having to start making it in August one day soon. “I remember a time when Christmas only happened in cold weather,” we’ll say, seeing fake trees with Grinches hanging on them propped up against beach balls and suntan lotion. And the young ones will giggle and back away slowly from the crazy old-timer. Sure. Christmas only in December. Ha.

Retailers, I get it. Christmas is your bread and butter. Extend the season and increase your sales. Okay. Who I’m really disappointed in is the rest of us, mauling each other for TVs on sale during that most horrific of all “traditions,” Black Friday, and putting up our outdoor lights in shorts and forgetting just how nuts this all is. We should know better. The season isn’t better just because we rush to get to it.

Christmas is beautiful. In December. It’s October and early November it’s downright awful.

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