November 24, 2003

Creeping, cancerous, Christmas

The more I think about Thanksgiving, the more I depend on my childhood memories to keep me safe from the bald cynicism that the modern version of the holiday inspires.

Even Thanksgiving consumerism isn't what it used to be. I remember when autumn's progress could be measured by the progression of holiday decorations in the stores -- the witches and black cats of Halloween, followed by the turkeys and cornucopeia of Thanksgiving, and then (finally) the trees and Santas of Christmas.

Now, the Christmas consumer orgy has broken the traditional Thanksgiving barrier, and it's a rare store or public place that bothers to put out the cardboard turkeys and pilgrims. The naked consumerism of Christmas is already lapping up against the shores of Halloween, and in a few years I won't be surprised if the Christmas lights and reindeer get brought out after Labor Day and the jack-o-lanterns of Halloween start to seem like a quaint anachronism.

The Starbucks in my neighborhood is an instructive example. Sure, they restrained themselves this year and waited until the day after Halloween to set out the Christmas cups and the Santa pens and the tiny Christmas tree in the middle of the store. Sure, they are careful to refer to "the holidays" but it doesn't seem like a coincidence that the store is decorated in red and white and green. Where is the yellow and red and brown of Thanksgiving? Nowhere. People don't traditionally buy home coffeemakers and espresso machines for Thanksgiving, after all.

Make way for Christmas! Buy early! Our retail sector depends on you! And if you should happen to forget all about Thanksgiving, well. . .we must all do our part for the sake of the Nation's economy. I'm sure you understand.

Today's young children won't even miss it.

Posted by Carey at November 24, 2003 09:47 AM

Traitor! You're un-American! Trying to sabotage the economy by speaking out against Christmas commercialism...who the hell do you think you are? You must be with the TERRORISTS!

Posted by: Brian at November 24, 2003 10:35 AM

I hope this doesn't mean that I won't be getting a Christmas gift this year, since you've had since Halloween to shop!!

Posted by: Nancy at November 26, 2003 04:33 PM