Monday, November 17, 2008

An Underground Christmas

Let it be said that on this Monday, the 17th of November, 2008, I formally concede to the merchandisers and marketers and corporate execs. I now accept that they rule Christmas. It has been a long, hard battle, and I have fought the good fight, but it's over.

Those of us who love Christmas and don't want it ruined have ranted and raved every year about Christmas carols piped into the mall beginning in mid-October (remember how shocking it once was to see a Christmas commercial before Thanksgiving?), but to no avail. We've griped about Christmas commercials during the World Series, Christmas parades and parties the first weekend of December, before anyone's really in the spirit, we've moaned and groaned, but no one has listened to us.

The Big Christmas War is over, and we lost.

We all know it's only a matter of time before Target and Wal-Mart and all the Big Boxes have Christmas carols wailing out of the loudspeakers in July, and then ultimately it will be Christmas all year round. And a lot of people will love this. The clerk at the toy store told me today that she decorated for the holidays this weekend. I tried to act as though I didn't think she was insane.

(Rule one for us Christmas losers: Try to act like the Christmas in July people aren't insane. They have the power, and probably the guns. If you roll your eyes at them, they will never, every take their Christmas lights down--whoops! Too late on that one!)

I think it's time to take Christmas underground. I don't know what that means exactly, but the thought occurred to me as I was driving home this afternoon from downtown, where the Christmas lights are twinkling merrily away. To some extent it means resisting the lure of Christmas for as long as possible. At the very least, wait until December to put up your lights and tree.

Conversely, do your Christmas shopping as early as possible and then put a lid on it. My goal this year is to have presents bought, wrapped and mailed by December 19th, and then staying out of the marketplace for the week leading up to Christmas. The week before Christmas should be about baking and reading and observing Advent (if you're an observer) and lighting candles and making your house smell good.

I dream about taking Christmas back some day. It's a foolish dream, I know. But just imagine it: We all say no to the greed heads who have taken hostage things we hold special and even sacred, just to make a buck off of us.

You know there's only one way to stop them: Stop buying their stuff.

And then Christmas will be ours once again.



Tracy said...

I would happily forgo all the nonsense that goes on before Christmas and just skip to the few days before and the day.

See...I'm just living in denial right now!

Anonymous said...

YAY for underground Christmas!! I just changed my Christmassy blog theme back to normal because it was grating on my nerves, especially the Christmas Countdown widget...argghhh!

I don't put our tree up until we're into December either. Baking etc is what I love too. Hooray!!

I LOVE Christmas Day, but the lead up beforehand? You can keep it.

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough, "Christmas in July" parties are quite common in Australia. How else are we ever to enjoy a winter Christmas?


Left-Handed Housewife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Left-Handed Housewife said...

Ooops! Let me try this again, and this time coherently (I'm the one who removed the previous comment--it got a little gibberishy toward the end).

Tracy, I'm exactly the same. I would love if the Christmas season started--decorations, trees, music, all of it--on December 21st. We seem to have forgotten that if Christmas is three months a year, it loses that special feeling ...

Tina, I'm with you--Christmas baking is where it's at. It's really what gets me in the spirit more than anything.

Kate, how Northern Hemisphere-centric of me! I hereby decree that Australians may have Christmas in July, but it's against the rules for Americans.

Sondra said...

Well said. Our local radio station began playing the Christmas music the weekend of Halloween. Wow. And they just seem to forget about Thanksgiving.

Cathy said...

Hello there
You have echoed my sentiments entirely
Do they really have Christmas in July parties in the Northern Hemisphere?
Take care

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Hi, Sondra and Cathy, thanks for stopping by. Cathy, I have yet to be officially invited to a Christmas in July party, but it's only a matter of time. Sondra, the Christmas music on the radio by Halloween is obnoxious. These people must be stopped!