If I ran the zoo (aka Christmas) …

Call me Scrooge …

… because if I ran the zoo that is now a two-month-long Christmas season:

  • ChristmaslightsChristmas lights, decorations, sales, advertising, parades, music, and even the mere mention of Christmas would be forbidden before 8 am on the day after Thanksgiving. Citations would be issued and fines levied against violators — both private and corporate. Corporations, of course, would face appropriately higher fines.
  • Upon being cited, retailers who did not, within 48 hours, cease all Christmas activities and remove all related decorations would be shut down until January 1. Individuals who did not comply would forfeit all exterior Christmas lights and decorations, said decorations to be donated to local charities for their use and/or distribution after Thanksgiving.
  • Thinking about Christmas, planning for it, making travel arrangements, and/or buying Christmas gifts would be permitted provided the individual did not indicate to anyone that such actions were Christmas related. Indoor decorations would be allowed in private homes, provided they were at no time visible from the outside.
  • Sales and/or deeply discounted prices would be allowed prior to the day after Thanksgiving, but only if not related to or referencing Christmas in any way.
  • The mailing of Christmas catalogs would be forbidden prior to Thanksgiving. Catalogs could be sent only to previous customers or persons specifically requesting one.
  • The exchange of Christmas greetings, electronic or otherwise, would be forbidden prior to Thanksgiving. Individuals wishing to extend greetings would be encouraged to eschew digital greetings and instead buy and mail traditional Christmas cards or make personal phone calls.
  • Christmas decorations, private or corporate, still visible after January 15 would be immediately confiscated.
  • No excuses or attempted misrepresentation, such as referring to decorations, songs, etc., as “holiday” or “festive” instead of “Christmas” would be accepted.
  • Halloween and Thanksgiving would be observed as dictated by the calendar and tradition, without having to compete in any way with Christmas.

By my calculations, these rules would still allow for a full month of Christmas-related activities, decorations, and miscellaneous merry-making. One-twelfth of the entire year should suffice for what used to be and still ought to be a one-day or at most one-week celebration.

(This rant inspired by the neighbor behind me who just turned on his Christmas lights.)

24 comments

  1. The last one sums it all up. I screamed when I saw a Christmas ad before Halloween — even if it was for PetSmart, I still didn’t want to see anything with Christmas that early.

  2. Same thing happens here much to my disgust, it’s just blatant money grabbing commercialism as far as the stores are concerned Santa Claus & Father Christmas people out already dressed for the snow and the temperature outside at the moment about 35°C / 95°. Who are they kidding?

    But thats not what getting me all up tight as soon as the 26th December arrives every store with a bakery will have the HOT CROSS BUNS on special,

    There should be laws against it!
    👿

      1. Yes but hot cross buns are supposed to be eaten on Easter Sunday ot they did when I was a boy, I recall going to the bakery on the morning joining the queue for the hot cross buns, it was something special, and lets face it they are just an ordinary bun with a cross upon them.Now I refuse to but them at all.

  3. I think technically you could justify twelve days of Christmas, and in Spain Día de los Reyes used to be bigger then Navidad, which still isn’t much of a big thing where I live anyway. It’s just a quiet evening/day with family, pretty much like most days in fact. You could also add that Christmas is preceded by Advent, so it’s not unreasonable to start at the beginning of Jan, but it should all be over by twelfth night.

    My mother’s family only put the tree up on Christmas Eve, and when I was a kid they did buy it slightly earlier (not early enough for me) usually the weekend closest to their birthdays (14/15). I used to love putting it up early in my own home, now it tends to be when I feel like it, in reality, not early.

    1. When I was a kid, we put the tree up about a week before Christmas and took it down a week or two after (whenever my parents had time to deal with it). The day is no longer a very special event when it’s dragged out for weeks and weeks.

      I stop putting up a tree years ago. Wasn’t much point since I live alone, and it was a lot of work to put up a fully decorated tree and then take it all down. Decorating the tree was a family event, a wonderful gathering in which adults and kids worked together, sharing stories, memories, hopes and dreams. I get a little of that now when my grandkids are putting up their tree, but I just don’t bother with it at my house.

  4. There is a local AM radio station in my area that plays oldies. It is about the only one I listen to when I do listen, which isn’t often. The other stations are about evenly divided among country/western, sports, religion and conservative-political yada yada yada. But in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my station switches to 100% Holiday music.

    It begins with light-seasonal stuff like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and steadily progresses to religious hymns. By December 24, not only on radio but in every store, the music has reached a repetitive crescendo creating a nest of ear-worms in my head. The Little Drummer Boy is banging on the inside of my skull. Then, on December 26, the programming cathartically reverts to what passes for normal, including lyrics extolling drug use and uncivil behavior. What would Jesus think of what this has become?

    Your post prompted me to check just now to see if my little station had jumped the hump and started early. Nope. But I’d say it’s just a matter of time.

    1. Lucky you. I’ve been gritting my teeth at the supermarket for several weeks since their piped-in music switched from oldies, which I love, to Christmas music. I don’t listen to the radio much at all. Maybe a bit when I’m in the car, but even that is rare. It’s non-existent at home.

  5. I’ve always loved Christmas, but the Christmas creep gets earlier every year. At craft stores I can understand (to a point) because of the time it can take to make things for gifts, but everywhere else? No thanks!

    Can we start this plan immediately?

    1. I wish. Afraid it’s already too late for this year. Too much already invested in ads, decorations, etc. But next year … you betcha! (Actually, this plan has existed at my house for many years, but I can’t do much about the rest of society.)

    1. Hmm, mightn’t the red suits be interpreted as Christmas garb and therefore be illegal before Thanksgiving? Maybe something more un-Christmas … say, plaid bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and flipflops. Or maybe dress as pilgrims, thereby promoting Thanksgiving, as would be appropriate, and keeping the focus where it belongs in November.

      1. Hmm, maybe you’re right PT, although law-breaking officials are kind of the thing these days. But I must say that I like the imagery of goose-stepping pilgrims, particularly if their toting automatic weapons too! 😉

  6. As special as Christmas is for me, the commercialization and running over of Thanksgiving & even halloween has nearly ruined it. I listen to sirius-xm… Veterans day i got in the car anticipating another 24/7 day of the Neil Diamond 30-day special channel… but instead, i got the first dose of jingle bell rock. I like your proposal, PT! And we will find valentine candy on display before Santa comes…..

    1. Perfect melding of purposes, since both Christmas and Valentine’s feature red. And aren’t the little Cadbury eggs wrapped in festive multi-colored foil that’s sold at Christmas and all the way thru Easter?

  7. While I agree with your basic attitude, you might want to give catalogs a little bit more leeway, since it can take anywhere from six weeks to two months to get a delivery from a catalog — esp. around Xmas.

    Although, come to think of it, why Amazon can get you a delivery in a week while paper catalogs still take forever is anyone’s guess.

    1. Oh, the catalogs can have all the leeway they want as long as they don’t call their offerings “Christmas.” But having just gotten about 8 of them in the mail, only half of which were from merchants I’ve ever patronized, I cut them no slack on the mailing list thing. Save a tree, lower your prices, and don’t send catalogs to people who haven’t asked for them.

      Good question though. Why can’t they all deliver as fast as Amazon? Heck, I’ve got Amazon Prime and it only takes a couple of days. Zappos, too, delivers in just a couple of days, and sometimes overnight (at no extra charge!).

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