Is that the sun?*
After days of constant dreariness and gloominess (unless you’re a Brewers fan), the clouds disappeared and the sun came out to make for a pretty good fall afternoon.
Leaves are just starting to fall to the ground, neighbors are starting to put out some Halloween decorations and the high school football regular season is already two-thirds complete.
It’s September. It’s fall in Wisconsin. So why the heck are stores already selling Christmas decorations?
Last weekend, I visited Brookfield Square’s JCPenney. When I got to the home living section, I stopped dead in my tracks to see Christmas trees, ornaments and other holiday decorations.
It was Sept. 23! More than a month before Halloween. Two months away from Thanksgiving. And more than three months before Christmas Day!
I hoped it was just this one store that was extremely jumping the gun, but when I visited Southridge Mall yesterday, both JCPenney’s and Boston Store had similar Christmas displays, and Hallmark was already selling Christmas ornaments.
What the heck is going on? Since when did the Christmas season become a three-month campaign? Three months – that’s one-fourth of the year. The Christmas season – not winter, mind you – is now as long as say, spring or fall.
Why is that? Why must we commercialize everything to the point of cheapening it? And especially Christmas. Sure, I get it’s not the sacred holiday it used to be, or at least it has certainly become less and less of a religious event. I get that it has become about throwing gobs of money at sweaters, toys and slippers. But does anyone really need to prep for it three months in advance.
What happened to the days when Thanksgiving weekend marked the start of the Christmas season? What happened to the days stores focused on one popular event (Halloween) or holiday (Thanksgiving) at a time?
Does anyone remember being a kid and thinking the first snow of the season meant Christmas was coming? Those few short weeks were plenty to get the tree out of the attic and adorned with ornaments, stock up on ribbons and wrapping paper and dream about what Santa Clause might put under the tree.
Being force-fed Christmas in September is like getting hot chili shoveled into your mouth in July. And it’s making me gag.
* Editor's note: I actually wrote this when it was sunny out. It is now raining, again, with the threat of thunderstorms. I obviously spoke too soon.