Monday, November 24, 2008

"Cashmas" or "Giftmas"???

Whether we're ready for it or not, the season of "Cashmas" or "Giftmas" - take your pick - is upon us. I remember writing here last year about the disturbingly early appearance of decorations in that interlude between Halloween and the onslaught of "the holidays." But this year the whole production seems to have started even earlier. No doubt the economic crisis has fueled the premature appearance of Santa and his elves. And "Sale" signs are already popping up at major retailers across the country. Santa has already appeared at local malls and the same is true in Virginia, according to my parents - more than two weeks before Thanksgiving!! What happened to the tradition of Santa making his appearance in those first harried shopping days after Thanksgiving? Even the big retailers like Macy's and Lord & Taylor have already unveiled their holiday windows.

I understand retailers' desperation at this point. Many smaller stores will barely survive into 2009. (Here in the city, many have beaten the January stampede and closed their doors already.) Several national chains have also announced that they will close all or many of their stores in the new year. Discount chains (ie. Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) will enjoy higher sales, I predict, simply because more shoppers are searching for bargains, especially bargains for toys and games.

We haven't even begun to think about Christmas yet. I'm normally very enthusiastic about Christmas and the holiday's trappings, but I'm already sick of the piped-in Christmas songs that echo in every store and bodega. (Who in god's name decided that "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music is a song appropriate for Christmas?!) I may yet become a Scrooge!

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1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

This seems to be about the third year in a row that I've found myself thinking about alternative ways to celebrate the Holiday(s). But each of these years I've waited too long to come up with a plan or even ideas to present to the rest of the family. Maybe one of these years it will take...
It's frustrating to me that there is usually stress associated with a season that should be so joyous. Any ideas, anyone?
My dream I think would be to amass the family at a mountain cabin and exchange homemade gifts and have a sort of candlelight vigil at midnight Christmas eve around a campfire singing carols at midnight or something and then a traditional meal the following day. But the chances of getting even a small part of my family to participate seems kind of iffy. Thanks for letting me dream...