Yet another Holiday season is upon us. No matter what we do, it seems that we are constantly bombarded with images, traditions, and songs from a distant time. I suppose this is the "Ghost of Christmas Past" that Scrooge was so afraid of. Of all the songs we are forced to hear, there is one even more annoying than the rest; "The 12 Days of Christmas". This insipid ditty drones on seemingly forever repeating lines over and over again. Any thinking person would question receiving all these "drummers drumming, pipers piping", and all those damn birds. Why by the end of the song I am envisioning a noisy zoo of a household, covered in three inches of bird shit. The song makes "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", seem scholarly by comparison!
Sadly, Christmas goes year round now! It starts in late June with the "Christmas in July sales". Apparently it's never too early to start going into debt. Within 48 hours of Halloween, the trees start going up in the stores. Lights, ornaments, and Christmas cards now occupy the spaces where Halloween candy once lurked. The hype has begun!
By mid-November, "Black Friday" previews begin appearing in your E-Mail inbox, in print ads, and radio and TV advertising You can't escape the beast that is Christmas! The Thanksgiving day paper is chock full of ads from merchants vying for your money. Some stores have resorted to opening on Thanksgiving day itself in order to get hold of your cash before anyone else! The crowds appear camped out in front of stores by noon, waiting for the early deals. The "Black Friday" rush is on!
(A brief note here; doesn't it seem that something called Black anything, would be reserved for African-Americans? You know, like "Black Power" or something? Merchants would offer gift ideas for minorities, such as "The Pimps and Ho's Playset", or "Driveby Dion" or something. For adults, "Gangsta" clothing, music, and weapons.)
But enough of that, for "The Big Day" looms ever closer! Shoppers exhaust themselves buying even more for friends and family, to make up for all the big ticket items they bought for themselves on Black Friday.
Before you know it, it's Christmas Eve, and shoppers are back out looking for last minute bargains. Then the big day dawns, presents are opened and millions of little faces convey the disappointment that they didn't get the expensive toys they had wished for (While dad gloats over getting his 60" big screen TV, laptop, and Blue-Ray player on Black Friday).
Boxing Day is next, when people return the gifts they got hoping to get enough cash to pay for the things they bought for others. January rolls around soon after, and the credit card bills begin arriving. Meanwhile, merchants are inventorying left over merchandise, and planning for they new year's "Christmas in July" sales.
Whatever happened to family and friends just getting together to be close during the holidays? No extravagance, no hype, just warm feelings? It's sad to see so many people driven so far in debt by the "Christmas Monster", but I guess that's what folks call progress. As for me, I'm not so sure.