Monday, November 3, 2014

One holiday at a time...

As we all know Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. But is it just me, or does it seem like the holiday season has been kicked into gear extra early this year?

It was early September when I first started seeing Christmas displays and item going up in some stores. As time has marched on these displays have only been growing larger and more prevalent. Thursday I actually started hearing Christmas commercials on the radio. Plus a house a couple blocks from me decked out their whole yard in Christmas decorations a week before Halloween.

Halloween passed and the very next day it has been madness! First there was all the people. Every store was packed. It was far busier than the average Saturday here. People fighting over parking spots like dogs vying for a scrap of meat. Pedestrians mindlessly wandering into traffic or cluelessly moving about the shops as if they were zombies left over from the night prior.

The Christmas displays? Not only where they larger, they exploded in size. The only thing missing was the incessant loop of Christmas music playing on a the store radio.

With all the people everywhere, I couldn't help but wonder if there were some big sales that I didn't know about. But a quick look didn't yield any signs of that going on. Then I heard a woman talking to another... "Oh, it's time for a break, I've been Christmas shopping all day."

With everything going on this weekend you'd think that Christmas was in a couple weeks, but in reality it's almost two months distant. Now, I don't fault people for liking Christmas; I enjoy it myself. But is it so much to ask that we take our holidays one at a time? Christmas is now hitting high gear earlier and earlier. Halloween, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving are becoming more and more glossed over it would seem. Jon Stewart once jokingly said that Christmas is getting so big that it is eating other holidays. But those words ring true.

I remember a time that really wasn't so long ago when the end of Halloween signaled the coming of Thanksgiving, and the day after Thanksgiving was the very beginning of the Christmas season. Before 'Black Friday' not a Christmas display or ornament was to be seen. Thanksgiving was respected and given it's time before we jumped to the next holiday. But no more.

Instead big business intends to cash in and extend Christmas as much as they can. It's all money money money... But doesn't this just cheapen it all? The earlier Christmas starts, the more I can't wait for it to be over. For all the madness to end. To be able to leave my house without wading into a sea of dazed people that are walking and driving like they only come out once a year and aren't quite sure how cars and traffic patterns really work.

It's sad, because it takes a time that should be pleasant and magnifies all the worst aspects. And it has gotten to the point where it is almost unavoidable. To fight back my family has decided not to exchange gifts the last couple years, and the transformation has been wonderful. Venturing among the droves of shoppers is brought to a minimum. I can simply shop for wife (my sole gift recipient) and instead focus on what's really important... Having family over, eating great food and simply having a good time. Free from the unneeded stress that is waiting everywhere that time of year.

But this never-ending swelling of Christmas has got to stop. Because if it continues growing at the rate I've witnessed in my life, I'll live to see it become a constant year-long event. So lets all take a step back and slow down a little so we can appreciate everything in it's time and not hurry along the year any faster than it already seems to slip away..

-Brain Hulk

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