Holiday season is here but which one? After September’s Labor Day I gradually began to experience holiday confusion. I thought I was clear on 2010’s holiday sequence as October began, since that’s when some notable-to-me birthday anniversaries make their annual rotation. Complicating matters for me this year was that each individual birth date surprisingly fuzzed-up my mind by triggering thoughts filled with unexpected mood-altering memories. Despite that interference I had a vague awareness Halloween was the next holiday until I suddenly began seeing Christmas trees covered with brightly colored lights and ornaments in neighborhood stores.
Had I missed the ghosts, goblins and spider webs celebration with all the costumed trick or treaters? News accounts assured me I had not, but as November began,a deluge of Christmas sales advertisements promoting alleged product bargains became increasingly overwhelming. Some neighbors began turning on their yearly increasingly excessive gaudy decorative house and yard light displays. Whatever happened to the admonition to conserve energy that we received years ago and observed for a year or so? Energy sources and environmental issues have changed little, so what is the justifying rationalization for all the lighting now? I must admit I do enjoy seeing some of the more tastefully decorated lighting. I guess what is tasteful is in the eye of the beholder, but more is not necessarily better.
What happened to Thanksgiving, I wondered? My need for reality grounding caused me to make note of the “T-Day” holiday on my blog, but for many apparently the celebration was short-lived. No more leisurely long Thanksgiving Day weekends if this season reflects future years commercial Christmas preparation behavior patterns.
We’re supposed to gobble up the vittles and get out to those stores that don't close for the day or re-open later. Some may choose to sleep after eating so they can be well rested to go shopping beginning at midnight when additional stores are opening. Certain businesses won’t open until early morning – that’s 2 A.M. not 6 or 7 A.M. There are those who even want to be among the first entering those stores, so maybe they need to plan to camp out for hours in front of that establishment as news videos documented some shoppers did this year. Shopping often seems to have become an entertainment or sport activity for many folks. I wonder if they realize their participation results from subjecting themselves to commercial forces manipulation?
I think we’re headed toward Christmas now. Hanukkah – Chanukah just ended. Kwanza is celebrated after Christmas. Ashura is a festival yet to be observed but I don't know that it's widely known in the U.S. So I’m appropriately oriented now that the Christmas and New Years holiday season is, indeed, finally near.
I still remember when I was young waiting for Christmas Day. Holiday decorations, sales promotions and talk of Santa, thankfully, did not begin until the day after Thanksgiving at the very earliest, or not even until December. The almost four weeks waiting time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed interminable to this child then. I can only imagine today's children's strained patience wondering how much longer they have to wait for Santa. I hear the questions:
“Is Christmas here yet?,”
“How long is two months?”
“What’s a week?”
“How many more days 'til Santa comes?”
“I wish I didn’t have to wait so long.”
Here’s Bill Evans, musically influential jazz pianist having fun in an audio only recording session vocalizing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”:
Here’s Bill Evans playing a strictly instrumental rendition of the same tune: