Bah, Humbug! You people are turning me into a grizzled old man who wants to shake his fist in the air and proclaim to the high heavens how it was better back in my day! And you know what, I am way too young, relatively speaking, to be doing such things, so shame on you all.
When it comes to Christmas, I am the biggest kid ever. I still believe in the magic of Christmas and the holiday season. I still have a tear come to my eye when I see children less fortunate, and I still have to fight the urge to sit on Santa’s lap.
So how is it I am already grumbling under my breath, walking around with my arms flailing, and even answering myself as if enraptured by some conversation I can’t get away from. Why, you may ask, is someone who loves this holiday as much as I do reacting as if the Grinch had stolen my tree and presents?
Because it isn’t time!
Retailers each and every year, in an effort to get a jump on the competition, begin their advertising, sales and strategic product placements earlier and earlier in the hopes of stealing even one sale from another competing retailer.
New Year’s Day is barely in the books when the Valentine’s Day cards make an appearance and before you can even mail those it’s Halloween on the shelves.
When I was a kid, there was a palpable feel in the air around the holidays, a feeling you could almost taste. There was tension and excitement and anticipation thick enough to require a Bowie knife to cut it through it. As a matter of fact, I may have asked for a Bowie knife at one point.
The point is as kids we all were excited and couldn’t wait for Christmas, knowing ahead of time there would always be some disappointment because we NEVER got everything we wanted.
Now, as I drive down the road before Thanksgiving is really on the horizon, I find myself deleting radio stations until the first of the year because they have decided that nothing but Christmas music on a random day, say Nov. 14, is appropriate.
And because they got there first, listeners will be glued to their station through Dec. 26, increasing their chance of a much needed boost in advertising revenue. Yes, I know, there are some people who enjoy having Christmas music for six weeks. I just happen to be more of a traditionalist.
And tradition seems to be another area that has taken a hit as well. Do people really observe them anymore or has the world become so bias and distances so great they don’t mean as much?
With the passing of my grandparents over the years, the biggest tradition my family had has gone by the wayside and has become impossible to replace. We used to go to my dad’s parents every Christmas Eve and as a kid that seemed to be the longest day of the year.
But we don’t seem to be able to get everyone in the same place at the same time anymore, which is sad but apparently the condition of things across the board, not just my family.
These days it just seems the Christmas spirit is supposed to be injected forcibly by commercials, sales sooner and sooner each year, music piped in to hypnotize the masses into spending, and kids who have the expectation of receiving everything they ask for.
How about a few words to ponder from Dr. Seuss, someone we should all be able to identify with?
“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.”
Makes perfect sense to me. But if that doesn’t hit the spot, try this one, as summed up by one of my all-time favorite columnists Dave Barry. Is this you?:
“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.”
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.