Monday, October 29, 2007

no, No, NO!

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!!"

Tom nodded.

"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!"


Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, this is so annoying! I thought the same thing when shopping the other day in a large department store in the city. It all has to do with marketing and money making. The earlier this crap gets out, the earlier they can start making money from it! When I worked in retail, this always annoyed me. As soon as Remembrance Day (Nov.11) was over, the Christmas muzak started in the store...and let me tell you, listening to Christmas muzak for 6 - 8 hours a day is very insanity-inducing!

Cherie said...

Money and marketing, how right you are, W.C. And you're right about the Christmas muzak, too. I'm not surprised we are on the same page here.

When it comes to commercialism and its blatant badgering of consumers I say bah-humbug!

deanna said...

I hear you. And I can just see you as the words jammed up in your brain.

Shall we start an online campaign? True Christmas Waits. Love Christmas; Let it Be...Later. Oh, well. I'll keep working on it.;o)

Pam said...

Boy, do I feel your pain, Cherie. I'm already strategizing in my brain as to how I can protect myself from the onslaught so I don't get overwhelmed and depressed. Like you, in recent years I hear that little voice whisper, "Finally, it's over." I love Christmas, but I HATE the marketing of it and I think that's what causes the exhaustion -- the frantic pace that starts so dang early. Online shopping. That's my plan for this year. As much as I can, I want to avoid stores. Ha! Good luck with that, right?

Cherie said...

Deanna, how about All We Are Saying is, Give Peace a Chance.....

Pam, you and I, once again, same wave-length; strategizing, online shopping, store avoidance - yeah, baby!

The grocery stores are crammed with Christmas stuff already, too, which bugs me. I looked around for anything 'Thanksgiving' just to see if it has been completely by-passed. Sure enough, in one aisle crammed between greeting cards and candles was a little cardboard display case with Thanksgiving-ish napkins and paper plates, and a few sheets of window clings. Like a last little sigh before it's snuffed out. I bought a few packages of napkins and dessert plates just to show my support.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. Interesting that you were at the home improvement store Saturday. I was there (or one like it--Jerry's?) with Sam on Saturday and he told me that Joe used to work there. However, I must have walked in the wrong (right?) sections of the store because I didn't see any of the Christmas stuff or the Christmas/Halloween monstrosity.

tshsmom said...

K-Mart had their Christmas stuff out a month ago! It was 83F outside and their musical trees were playing Christmas music.

I hate how Thanksgiving gets bypassed too! The stores have 4 aisles of Halloween stuff and, if you're lucky, one small display of Thanksgiving decorations. Our local Ben Franklin store is the only business I know that stocks more Thanksgiving than Halloween stuff. I think this is because the owners are Mennonites.

Cherie said...

Patti, yes, Joe used to work at Jerry's, but the one in Springfield. I wonder if you were in the Eugene store...anyway, I'm happy that you were spared. Monstrosity is right! : D

Tshs: Yes, the Ben Franklin here does have Thanksgiving stuff, now that you mention it. I rarely go in there, but have experienced that in the past. I didn't know it was owned by Mennonites. Interesting.

K-Mart a month ago, 83 degrees, Christmas music playing! Holy smokes!

tshsmom said...

It's just our store that's owned by Mennonites. ;)

cecily said...

Even in Australia the Christmas trees are already out. I too was irritated. I suppose the difference here is that it will be hotter by Christmas, so temperature doesn't tell us it's too early... just common sense! I tend to look at the trees, harrumph and keep walking. We don't do a big deal for Christmas... no Christmas tree or decorations at our house. I just display the Christmas cards and that's it.

Oh... I just remembered that I am contributing to the early Christmas thing by sending out some of my cards already :(. Sorry... but it was now or Never!

Cherie said...

Tshs: Oh, I get it. I thought maybe it was like the entire Albertson's company being owned by Mormons.

Cecily, I totally understand sending the cards in a 'now or never' fashion. The cards can be a pain. It does help to get them overwith. I used to love doing cards, but now when I do, I feel like I should include a Family Form letter - as I do love receiving them - but so often mine come across as cheesy or as a Brag Rag - though I don't mean for them, too. Plus we know so many people that I am not about to write a personal note of any consequence on each one, and I feel guilty, but who has the time? A dilemma, that's for sure. Anyway, hats off to you for sending them - early or not!

Anonymous said...

Every year I try to simplify a little more. It works, but only because my job gets so busy that I don't have time to do Christmas long term.

Seriously though, the early Christmas in the stores is a sign that they are worried about money coming in. Even though it makes many angry, profits mean they get to stay in business. Retail is hurting and are competing with the on liners which is pretty hard to do these days.

Every year I say I'm going to have Christmas shopping done by October so I can enjoy the ride to the final day, but it never happens. Oh well, maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

Funny post, and do I ever know what you mean! (I wonder where I got it from??) Thanks for some light at the end of a long day.


Cherie said...

You have some good points, Sandy, which do balance out this discussion. Thank you! And I'm with you - try and try and, maybe next year. : )

Joe, yeah, wonder where - hehehe. Glad this little post gave you some cheer. You give it to me all the time.