If you’re one of the people who get their nose in a twist about Christmas coming to stores earlier and earlier every year, we need to talk.
Sit down. Here, let me just take that coffee and hand you an herbal tea.
Fact: it does not come earlier and earlier every year. You just think it does because you’re getting older and crankier.
I know this because I am also old, but I have other things that chap my hide.
(For me, it’s when people mix up “to” and “too.” Or “lose and loose.” Or, for some confounding reason in this state and county where I currently reside, I keep seeing “sell” and “sale” mixed up. I mean, this really makes me want to throw things. [More on this next week, if I feel like it.])
Ok, now I need a sip of my own herbal tea.
The thing is, my friend, Christmas is not in fact coming earlier and earlier every year.
The trucks with the pallets containing Christmas deco and merchandise arrived in September and it’s been that way for decades.
If the worker bees do not unload the truck… well there’s simply no other choice. They have to unload the truck. And then, there are giant pallets from those trucks, just sitting in the stock room.
And you simply cannot have giant pallets containing CHRISTMAS GOODIES taking up space in the stock room. The workers must unpack it and get it on the shelves, because more pallets will be arriving the next week and the next.
So the next time you feel the need to gripe at a retail worker for putting up festive ornament displays in September/October/early November, just remember:
1) They do not care about your personal problems. They have literally been standing for six hours. They already have been chewed out by no less 17 more horribly-behaved, clueless and/or entitled Baby Boomers before you clip-clopped into the store on your high horse. They have nothing left to give to your nonsense. And in case you haven’t heard, it might just make them happier people to decorate early. Take it up with corporate.
2) Relax. Especially if it’s a small business. These people have mouths to feed, and if that means setting up wreaths and nutcrackers too soon for your arbitrary timeline, have some compassion and get over it.
3. If you think Thanksgiving is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop, I invite you to talk to any person — especially a woman — who has ever hosted Thanksgiving. She who has scrubbed her home from top to tail and successfully cooked a humongous meal for 30 people will never think Thanksgiving has been pushed aside. She is on the hook for making or breaking the biggest MEAT DAY of the year in America. Thanksgiving is doing just fine without you curmudgeons. It’s not going anywhere. Repeat after me: “Everyone loves Thanksgiving. Nobody is going to forget it.”
4. You do know that we don’t actually know the date when Jesus was born. December 25 was chosen by the Catholic Church because it sort of coincided with Saturnalia. It was just a way to keep the former pagans from getting too bummed about Christians taking away all their fun parties after they converted. There are no rules about when you can start celebrating Christmas because it’s all a patriarchal construct anyway.
Also, it’s OK to stop and look at the Peanuts Christmas ornaments and enjoy them. Because they are adorable. And also grab one for me.
And if you still don’t feel like quitting your complaining and hand-wringing and pearl-clutching about the so-called encroachment of Christmas on Thanksgiving, then I have a job for you. I am famous for handing out jobs to complainers in my house.
Your job on Thanksgiving: get up from the table (button your fat pants first, please), blot away your meat-sweat and help wash the dishes instead of rolling yourself into the den to watch football or Hallmark movies.
Better yet, ask your host if you can come by on Tuesday or Wednesday and help them clean or run last minute errands.
Who knows? Helping them may help you relax.
Worst case scenario, you’ll be too busy helping for the rest of us merry-makers to hear your kvetching.