Monday 26 Sep 2016

Christmas so Soon?
Jennifer Flaten

One particularly sunny day, I was riding in the car with the little kids, and it became necessary to turn on some music. Any parent can attest to the fact that sometimes you just need music, any music.

You know they say that music soothes the savage beast. It does, well, at least in my house it does, it generally stops them from beating on each other, if only briefly.

So, I scanned through the radio stations hoping for something we can all enjoy. I paused on a local light music channel. Soon I hear 'Sleigh bells ring are you listening'.

What a wonderful Christmas song. It is one of my favorites. The kids immediately start singing along.

Hey! Wait, it is only November 1st. They can't have Christmas music on now!

It seems that as of November 1st, not one but two local radio stations have switched to an all Christmas music format. Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week of Christmas carols.

Not to mention that Christmas is a good 60 days away. Oh my God, I can't believe it, 60 days of carols. I have no idea how the people at the radio station stay sane. Although, a friend pointed out that most radio stations are all electronic these days, no human beings need be tortured by the relentless caroling.

To make matters worse, as of November 5th the Salvation Army bell ringers magically appeared outside every retailer's door. Since the Salvation Army is striving to collect the necessary funds for its programs in a harsh economic environment I can almost cut them some slack; at least they are doing it for the greater good.

I can't cut any slack to the retailers who keep trying to force me to have Christmas in July.

The retailers were rolling out their planograms for the holidays as of October 1st. I know this because; I was at a local craft store and couldn't find any Halloween decorations in October because they had all been pushed aside for Christmas decorations.

Never mind that it is a little hard to stomach a big fat Santa when it is 80 degrees out.

Pretty soon, Christmas will be a never-ending holiday. Retailers will soon be rolling out the Christmas product as of January 1st of the New Year. I can see the ads now "Only 350 shopping days left!"

As a child, I lived in a resort community; one of my favorite things to do was go to the Christmas shop. You know the kind I mean, every tourist trap town has one, it is a little Swiss Chalet that has Christmas decorations, music etc every single day of the year.

Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there, but if retailers have their way, I will soon be living in the land of Santa and Frosty 365 days a year.

Now I am not a Scrooge, I really do love Christmas, especially because it means I get presents. I just find myself becoming more and more of a procrastinator (as if I need that) because the hard sell of Christmas.

When they start advertising, it at the end of September you tell yourself "I have plenty of time" and you do. It just is so relentless that you keep saying I have plenty of time and before you know it...you are out of time.

Before you know it, you are one of those people frantically buying gifts at 11p.m on Christmas Eve.

Plus, I am a bargain hunter by nature. Therefore, I keep thinking well if it X dollars today, imagine what I can get it for in a week. Except, it is no longer at the stores, because they packed up the Christmas stuff on December 15th so they can roll out the swimsuits and resort wear.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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