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.