Friday, December 10, 2010


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:


  1. I teach second grade and the newest thing is stuff elves that show up around December 1. The elves are naughty and do naughty things each night while the kids sleep. The children come in each morning talking about how their elf was hanging from the chandelier or how it had wrapped their rooms in toilet paper. Although the elves are driving this teacher crazy, the kids love it.

  2. Great post!!!! And yes, Bill Evans is the besr!!!

  3. I share your confusion. I have no doubt that by the time several more years have passed, we will be seeing Christmas/Holiday decor in stores at the end of June!

    I used to say I would not patronize any shop that had Christmas decor up before Thanksgiving, and now I would have to say before Halloween.

  4. I thought the same thing JoAnn. Was Thanksgiving a mirage or what? As much as I love Christmas, I certainly can wait until after Turkey Day to start all the hype. Thanksgiving is getting the short end of it...and it's gotten worse in recent years. I agree with Kenju...before we know it they'll be decorating for Xmas in June. What's the rush? Happy Holidays sweetie... ~Joy

  5. Couldn't agree more....

    On Thanksgiving you hear little about the fact that it's Thanksgiving. All you hear about the whole week of Thanksgiving is about "Black Friday" and will the merchants rake in the cash or not this year. I think the Thanksgiving meal has become traditionally a time of gorge so you can spend all day the next day shopping and won't have to stop to eat!

    And who doesn't miss that anticipation. When I was a kid Christmas was a bit of an oxymoron. It combined the mental anguish of time almost coming to a standstill as Christmas neared - yet a joy filled your heart with all that surrounded you. At night after supper one of my favorite things was to go and lay down on the floor near the Christmas tree just staring at the gifts and the lights and being consumed by the aroma of the real-live Christmas pine tree.

    Now...well I live near one of the city's major shopping areas so Thanksgiving when I return home from having Thanksgiving dinner at my sisters, I shut my front door and I don't go back out until early January! :)

  6.'s all too much. I guess the rich merchants feel they have to start early to milk as much of our cash as possible. Never mind that we don't have jobs or any spare cash. I think you're right....pretty soon they'll be having Christmas sales in July (as if they don't already!)

    Happy Holidays....I'm staying OUT of the stores--except maybe for bookstores, which are being shot down by those blanketyblank kindle things....:)

  7. I thought it was just me, and the way time speeds up when you grow older. But you're right, the commercialization of the holidays starts well before it used to.