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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Your Humble Blogger’s first Christmas Tree sighting of 2007 was on the ninth of November. Yes, it was in a commercial establishment, but a grocery store, not a gift store or such. Oh, it was one of the big grocery stores that also has wrapping paper and some decorations, but those have been on the shelves for weeks.

I was thinking. I’ve never chatted with anyone who expressed pleasure at the early- or even mid-November signs of the season. Everybody gripes. There are people who like to see the lights and garlands starting the day after Thanksgiving, and there are people who grumble at the whole thing (I am one, some years), but the pre-Advent Christmasification seems to be a source of universal gripe. I suspect that the employees of the store griped about putting it up, and gripe about looking at it, and I suspect the manager griped about it, too, and possibly the regional manager griped about sending out the memo on November first. But they did it.

I do know that there must be people who really are happy about it. I just haven’t ever talked to one about it. This is likely because I don’t have a very wide range of acquaintance, so let me know if you think it’s wrong. Still, I see the griping in print, and there are lots of pop-cultural references to griping on this topic, and I haven’t seen any positive portrayals of early-Xmasers, although, again, I’m not really hep to that particular jive.

Anyway, the aspect that I’ve been chewing on since that grocery store trip last Friday is that the free market system appears to have set up a competition where there is no particular drawback to being early, and at least the possibility of a substantial drawback to being late (compared to your competitors). It’s possible that somebody will buy lights or wrapping paper at the grocer’s after being reminded by the tree that the Season is upon us. It’s plausible. It’s even likely. And I’m sure as hell not going to take my business elsewhere because of the tree, nobody is. I mean, even if I wanted to, what am I going to do, find the grocery stores that don’t put up early Xmas decorations? Scout ’em all out until I find it? Pay the extra to shop at my local glatt kosher grocery? No. And YHB even has a local glatt kosher grocery, but if I wanted to shop there, I would already be doing it, and I’m not going to change my mind because of the Tannenbaum Express.

No, the best thing for my grocer to do is make all his customers grumble and gripe. It’s an odd thing.

Anyway, I was wondering if it’s possible to, simply by an act of will, decide to enjoy the pre-Veteran’s day Christmas decorations. Just to say to myself boychick, says I, I am informal with myself because I’ve known myself since I was like that, boychick, there’s grumble and there’s glee. Choose glee. And do it. Because they are pretty, you know, whatever else they are.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I think I have met some folks who love the early reminders of Christmas. I don't get it, but they exist. Me, I can cope with it, so long as it's not audible. Both times I have quit gyms it was ultimately because the music sucked and they refused to change it. And I will turn around and leave a non-urgent errand if there's early-November Christmas music, and sometimes even December Christmas music, playing that I can't avoid.

Let us know how the glee experiment works out for you!

I'm sorry to say that I saw someone buying Christmas wrapping paper in Target this morning. I wanted to pull her aside and say, "you know, it's people like you buying this stuff before Thanksgiving, that sends the message to marketers that it's okay to stock the stuff before Thanksgiving," but a) that would have been rude, and 2) my baby was crying and I needed to get out of there.

I do wonder what would happen if NOBODY bought the stuff until after Thanksgiving. That would put the kibosh on it, I'd bet.

Then I got home and discovered that I'd accidentally purchased "Christmas" themed Dove chocolate, rather than the usual stuff. Rats.

I was going to grumble a little about choosing glee being like, upon observing the tragedy of the commons, offering one's own land as the new commons (and let the tragedy recommence). But you know what? I don't think that's the whole story.

Instead, I offer for your gleeful uses the fact that the verses of "Clementine" may be sung to the tune of the verses of "Silver Bells."

I rather enjoy my feelings of indignation about the way-too-early Chrimble stuff. Paul & Storm (over at www.paulandstorm.com) actually have a song called "The Way Too Early Christmas Song," which you can listen to on the songs page of their website. Although the song isn't one of their best efforts, the sentiment rings true to me. I remember a few years back walking into a fabric store and feeling temporarily disoriented because the Christmas stuff was out in October. Then I realized that this was one of the few establishments where that made sense. If you sewing or cross-stitching Christmas projects, you do need some lead time. Still, my first thought was, "Dammit, it isn't even Halloween yet!"

I think glee over early pitty-fings is more like, after the tragedy of the commons, trying to really enjoy bare dirt public land (the browns! the ... browns! the mud!) and how much more attractive cows are when they are skinny. Or something.

Early carolling doesn't bother me if it's really good, but of course it isn't. Early tinsel and lights bother me even if they are good, and often they are. I mean they would bother me, if I hadn't set phasers on glee.

And I do understand craft stores getting their goods out early. In fact, I suspect that would be a way to deal with the whole way-too-early thing, to knit or cross-stitch or build the tree out of popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. And, in fact, we are growing little flowers for my Perfect Non-Reader's teachers, a delicate business that involves many of the good aspects of The Season.

Oh, and Catherine, your anecdote was wonderful, until the end, when it was extra-wonderful. Hope the baby stopped crying at some point in the last 28 hours.


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