Call me Scrooge …
… because if I ran the zoo that is now a two-month-long Christmas season:
Christmas 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.)