The above photographs were taken on the train into work one morning. The photos do not capture the vibrant colors of fall. Yesterday I passed by the same coastline. Gone are the colors. There is still some yellow here and there, and an occasional red splotch, but everything else is brown, and dull.
On October 28th, I went into a Stop and Shop grocery store and was stunned to see Christmas decorations covering several shelves. The Halloween decorations were shoved off to one side , and the holiday hadn’t even come yet! I saw Christmas decorations as early as September in some stores.
The day after Halloween, I went to the Westchester Mall, Many places were already selling Christmas decorations, but what really irked me was that the PA system was paying Christmas music.
There seems to be an obsession with the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Retailers make their most sales during this time, and as the United States has become the center of über-capitalism, the time has been expanded. It has been creeping back to Halloween for quite sometime. At the beginning of the second week of November, I found a tree and other Christmas decorations in the Japanese restaurant.
Franklin Roosevelt one year tried to move Thanksgiving back one week to increase the time for shopping during the Depression. Ironically the then-Republican Party, attempting to curry favor with the masses over an unpopular decision, had legislation fixing the holiday on the last Thursday in November. FDR was apparently ahead of his time.
A few weeks ago, I went to Danbury, Connecticut, to meet my friend Lucye. (It was my turn to come up there.) We usually meet in the Christmas Tree Shoppes and then go to lunch, movies, shopping or whatever. This time, though, I couldn’t even find a parking place. The traffic was terrible. We ended up abandoning any attempt to shop in the afternoon. The only time I’d seen traffic like this was during the Christmas shopping season–which has apparently already started.
Then there’s the insanity of the day after Christmas. There’s all this craziness from around Halloween that culminates on Christmas Day, when the after Christmas sales ads appear on television and in print. However, it’s day after Christmas that resembles a quickie Las Vegas wedding where everyone was drunk and happy when the celebrating was going on, but then the next day everyone realizes what a mistake it was and tries to forget the whole thing ever happened. Retailers cannot get rid of the Christmas merchandise quick enough. The shelves are stripped bare and the Christmas junk is shoved together down one aisle, which keeps getting shoved into smaller and smaller piles until it simply vanishes. I’ve always found it amazing how people toss out Christmas trees before New Year’s. For me, the season starts on Thanksgiving and ends on January 7th, Orthodox (or Old) Christmas. It’s after this that I take down my decorations.
I do understand the complaints about the commercialization of the season. It is getting ridiculous. Are we going to start Christmas sales in June? We already have patio furniture, gardening materials, clothes and other spring and summer merchandise appearing in January to take the place of Christmas. Winter just started! Who shops for patio furniture when there’s snow outside?
Perhaps this example summarizes the insanity best. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day last year, I found Easter candy in a Stop and Shop store!