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Merry Christmas, everyone!
Never mind the calendar, throw out the turkey and break out the tinsel—it’s Christmas time! “‘Tis the season!” “O Christmas tree!” “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” and fa la laaaeeughh—it’s seriously Christmas time already? Did the world jump ahead a couple of months while I wasn’t looking?
What happened to Thanksgiving? Or Halloween for that matter? The fall colors? The crunchy leaves? Finals? In short, why is Christmas two months long?
The first sign of trouble was about three weeks ago. I was shopping for shoes with my girlfriend at a local department store when I noticed some caution tape surrounding some boxes. Curious, I went over to peek inside one of the boxes and found a wreath on a Christmas card staring back at me. This was Oct. 14. For those keeping score at home, the department store was setting up for Christmas a full 72 days before the actual event.
I ended up brushing the whole thing off—though I did take a picture with my cell phone for posterity—and pushed Christmas toward the back of my mind so that I could concentrate on everything else. But the holiday came roaring back soon after, and at the end of the month I started receiving emails of “can’t-miss holiday sales” and “offers to make your holiday season unforgettable.” The garland and shiny red balls on the borders tipped me off that the holidays in question were probably not Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, or any of the many holidays between now and Christmas.
Finally, to push things over the edge, a major local retailer started playing Christmas music in its store this week. Their aisles-long holiday display is already up and running, and while most of their decorations are still winter-themed, I don’t expect that to last long. After I escaped and settled in at home to watch some television, I counted five different Christmas-esque ads in a half-hour period. Not even changing the channel saved me, as I saw at least as many over the rest of the night. And of course, to top it all off, I was eating fruitcake.
Well, not really. But still the question remains: who, aside from retailers, decided that Christmas got to be two-months long? For that matter, why are we, the consumers, putting up with it? I realize that it’s a holiday “season,” but that doesn’t mean that three months of the year should be dedicated to one holiday. I’m not ready to put up stockings or to find a tree, and I’m definitely not ready to be buying gifts for all of my friends yet. I’d like to have some time to be appreciative of my veterans, to be thankful for my family and to study for my finals. Not to say that you shouldn’t always be doing those, of course (especially that last one), but it seems unfair to me that as a country, we start hurtling toward Christmas before October ends and end up out of breath by the time we get there.
Christmas should be like a favorite meal; if you have it too often, even the thought of it makes you queasy. But if you moderate it, you’ll come to crave it, and then when that one special time comes around, when you need it the most, the experience is nothing short of amazing. It’s time to reclaim Christmas, and make it something to savor.
But until then, you’ll have to excuse me; I’m getting a head start this year, and these Christmas cards aren’t going to write themselves.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Nathan Bellis at Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org.