Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening?

4 October, 2006 at 12:15 am (dear diary)

I always keep track of when I see the first instance of Christmas decorations each year. There has been a gradual creeping back, earlier and earlier, since my childhood memories. I recall that there used to be a Thanksgiving sometime in November, but Christmas decorations began coming hard on the heels of Hallowe’en. Then I began to see them when the Hallowe’en decorations started to come down, a few days before the holiday itself. I’m pretty sure that the earliest Christmas decorations I’ve ever seen — aside from the insane people that celebrate the miraculous virgin birth of Santa Claus all year ’round — we in the mid-twenties of October.

But today I realize I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Retail stores and supermarkets offer a window into the common commercial experience, and I always have used those as the most reliable indicator. But I now see that decorations and muzak may not have been the bellwethers I assumed them to be, and that I have been insulated from the truth. You see, I watch as little television as possible. And when I do watch TV, I try to make it as much a non-commercial experience as possible. And if what I experienced today is normal, is typical, then it throws my whole calendar out of whack. For today I saw a televised advertizement that was clearly a pre-Christmas teaser. It has elves and wishing and magic and expensive stuff. I didn’t come right out and say “the Holiday season”, but the visuals made it perfectly clear.

As if I really needed one more reason to despise Wal-Mart.

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