Okay, kids, guess what time it is!
That’s right! It’s Rant Time!
I figure, we’re long overdue for a good rant, aren’t we? It’s been at least a couple of weeks since I did any major grumbling, and it’s been a few months since I did any Big Time Complaining.
The subject of my rant is actually a subject upon which I issue a rant nearly every year. The difference is…this year, I’m ranting a bit earlier than usual. Yes, I’m annoyed by all the Christmas stuff being flung about this early in the year.
Normally, I get all tetchy about it in mid-November. I kvetch and moan about how Thanksgiving always gets the short shrift, and even if you take issue with the way that the colonists treated the Native Americans a few hundred years ago–and to that I say, yes, for the most part, the Indians were treated extremely poorly and it was Not Good, but hindsight is 20-20–but the basic message of Thanksgiving is one that does not deserve to get glossed over. You give thanks. And then you eat high-calorie food and depending on your personal preferences, either watch football, take a long nap, or in some cases, go shopping. Or for a few ambitious souls, all three. You spend time with the people you love or the people you like (and sometimes they’re even the same people!). How can you argue with that? How can anyone not enjoy that? Why does this not get more attention?
Well, the reality is Thanksgiving gets the shaft because it doesn’t make the retailers enough money. Period. Everyone knows that they make a huge percentage of their profits between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the whole year, etc. etc. And it’s especially important in the current economy that they make money during the Christmas season.
Okay, I grudgingly will concede that maybe it would be okay to expand the Christmas shopping season a little bit, given the state of the economy over the past couple of years. But I’m talking about a week or two. NOT months. I mean, here I am ranting about Christmas in October, but let’s be honest. Many retailers/manufacturers/etc. got an even bigger jump on the shopping…er, holiday season. I started noticing that it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in some places in August. When Target began putting out the Halloween stuff, they still reserved the back aisle for Christmas lights. I was still buying back-to-school stuff an aisle over from the LED polar bear lights. I have heard similar reports from Wal-Mart and other places. And I’m sorry. That is not okay.
And today, I attempted to pick up a few last minute Halloween decorations at the store….two full days before Halloween, mind you…only to find that the remaining Halloween stuff had been stuffed altogether in a couple of sad, overcrowded, hard-to-pick-through aisles while there was a huge empty floor next to them. And guess what the salespeople were assembling on that big empty space? That’s right. Christmas trees. I haven’t even managed to dig out the bucket for the candy I plan to hand out to the little princesses and goblins in my neighborhood, and the stores are already full of Santa stuff.
My four-year-old was bewildered by this. “But it’s Halloween,” he said.
So I will remain firm in my resolve to not purchase any Christmas items before Thanksgiving. I have maintained the policy for a number of years now, and every time I think about easing back on it, I remember why I came up with the policy in the first place: to not let Christmas bleed over into Thanksgiving and Halloween (and even into the summer, for goodness’ sake). Down with Christmas in October! Trick or treat! And then I’ll thankful, very very thankful. And then and only then will I be ready to rock around the Christmas tree.