It's October. Summer's warmth is remembered more than faintly. Crops are still coming in. Leaves are hanging on, some still unchanged green. Just this weekend we began contemplating our Thanksgiving guest list. The menu and groceries are still 'out there' not in my organized brain or pantry. That festive glad holiday seems a million miles away.
So someone explain to me why are there Christmas trees in the stores, Christmas decorations, Christmas stockings, Christmas candy? Why, I even saw a red-bowed wreath hanging on a telephone pole today. IT'S NOT CHRISTMASTIME! Shoot, Halloween is two moons away.
I had a conniption when entering the home improvement store on Saturday for I was overwhelmed with the sight of two dozen individually decorated fake trees, each one eight-feet tall, positioned in an enchanted elflike forest, complete with fake snow and twinkling lights. One tree was decorated in yellow and green for the Oregon Duck's football team, another orange and black for the Oregon Beavers'. One was even decorated with Halloween ghosts, witches' hats, and tombstones, I kid you not!!!
Words jammed up in my brain as I let out a little squeak right there in the store. My hand flattened and shot up like a blinder to shield my eyes from the forest of plastic trees. "It's too early, people. This is wrong. I refuse to be manipulated. You're messing with Christmas."
The outdoor garden department suckered-punched me once more. "Thomas, tell me I don't see a four-foot high, lighted Santa Claus standing in my favorite zen fountain!!"
"I hope he fries!" I said.
Yes, a few shoppers glanced my way. Bewildered or empathetic? I don't know. I don't care. It's too early!
Try as I may, the last few years have found me exhausted by the time Christmas Day rolls around. We unwrap our gifts, eat Christmas dinner, and a little voice inside whispers, "Finally, it's over." To me, this is sad.
Planning and preparation I understand. But unrelenting manipulation saps the energy, meaning, and joy from a beautiful celebration of Love.
Two months of commercialism pound pound pounding my mind, battering my senses, emptying my wallet - dread.
Not this year. Blinders up. Eyes on the floor as I walk the aisles looking for trim-boards, pots, and bark mulch.
"Wait your turn, Santa!"