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Whose Idea Was This?

My Mother has always used Pioneer Baking Mix for biscuits and pancakes. I don’t argue with her choices, and for years it meant going to Winn-Dixie to get a box for her, as that wasn’t where she normally shopped.

Then, for whatever reason, it stopped being sold at Winn-Dixie and was only available at Wal-Mart.

So, yesterday, November 1st, the day after Halloween, I made a trip to get her a box and was assaulted by the bloody damn Christmas decorations as I entered the store. I was expecting an after Halloween “let’s get rid of the orange and black stuff” sale, and nearly ran into a ten-foot faux-fir tree blocking the entrance.

This is what the War on Christmas™ really looks like, and where it is waged.


1 Michael { 11.02.07 at 10:46 pm }

The merchants started the war earlier than ever this year–probably because they’re all gloomy about their prospects for making their annual profit from now through Xmas. Mustang Bobby said he spotted his first Christmas commercial in Miami the other day, but I caught one up north here the weekend before I left for Portland. And I recall a Hallowe’en some years ago now when a bunch of my college friends and I were going out for a bit of a pub crawl…in costume. One of us was going to go as a vampire, and needed some makeup to achieve the desired state of above-the-collar pallor. We figured we’d just duck into the neighborhood Walgreen’s (this was in Chicago) and grab some, only to find the place was wall-to-wall with snowmen, garlands, glitter, and Christmas carols on the Muzak channel.

2 Bryan { 11.02.07 at 11:30 pm }

There is a local shop that specializes in Christmas and is open limited hours all year because they import a lot of European things that you just can’t get anywhere else, but you have to order early. Most of the people who use it “out of season” are snowbirds who will down here for Christmas and don’t want to haul a lot of stuff with them.

Other than that shop, any store that carries so much as tinsel before Thankgiving should be a valid target for MOAB testing.

We have two years of presidential campaigning, a year of Congressional campaigning, you can’t buy winter clothes in the winter, because they are already carrying the spring stuff, and all of the garden shops are being supplanted by plastic reindeer the day after Halloween. There is no connection to reality.

3 andante { 11.03.07 at 9:54 am }

That “can’t buy winter clothes in the winter” thing is one of my favorite rants, since I inevitably lose a glove or toboggan or rip my long underwear by New Year’s.

Our winters are increasingly milder, which helps that problem a bit, but during hottest August it makes me sweat perspire just looking at all the heavy coats on the racks.

4 Anya { 11.03.07 at 11:31 am }

You must not get out much, Bryan. I noticed the first Christmas decorations for sale in the middle of September. Not entirely a bad thing, since I sometimes need a string of lights for my Halloween tree. I just didn’t more lights this year.

I’m not normally a kill-joy when it comes to Christmas, but I’ve stopped celebrating it, myself, and I’m not going to put up my usual Solstice Shrub this year because of the feline wrecking crew.

5 Bryan { 11.03.07 at 3:04 pm }

You can’t buy a heavy coat down here because “it doesn’t get cold in Florida”. Well, we have a few weeks in the thirties and forties and you are out of luck if you don’t shop on-line or through catalogs to get clothes for those periods.

Anya, I’m outside everyday, but I don’t shop much. I’m not having to impress people, so I normally wear jeans and a work shirt for dealing with things outside.

I not a desirable demographic – if I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. Bookstores are the only places I visit with anything approaching regularity.

6 Kevin Hayden { 11.03.07 at 3:23 pm }

I’m a consumer curmudgeon like you, Bryan. November should be for turkeys and stuffing and cranberries and pumpkin pie. Christmas is for kids and that shopping season should begin the weekend before Thanksgiving.

And screw Tiny Tim. 😉

7 Bryan { 11.03.07 at 3:49 pm }

I have two great nephews so Christmas is pretty much for them alone, and they aren’t old enough to complain. I generally look for good packaging, because the kids usually end up spending more time playing with the box than the toy that came in it.

The rest of the crew buy what they need, when they need it, so there’s not much point and they may actually need help another time of the year, so I don’t get carried away – a donation to a suitable cause in their name is what they’ll get, because their karma needs more help than they do.

8 Michael { 11.03.07 at 5:26 pm }

Me, I take after my mother–I’m a huge Christmas fanatic. I absolutely disagree that Christmas is just for kids–though I’m in perfect agreement with all here that the merchants’ insanity is getting worse. (And let me point out that Charles Schulz was decrying it forty years ago in A Charlie Brown Christmas.) My Christmas decorations don’t go up, and unless my iPod is on random shuffle, I don’t play Christmas music until at least the day after Thanksgiving–though I’ll keep the decorations up, and enjoy the music, at least until the day after Little Christmas (the Epiphany).

9 Bryan { 11.03.07 at 5:38 pm }

Oh, I’ll be on a ladder the day after Thanksgiving stringing my Mother’s outdoor lights, and they be on through News Year’s Day, but enough is enough.

10 hipparchia { 11.03.07 at 11:04 pm }

i’m with michael on the music and decorations, but like anya, i’ve got a feline wrecking crew too. and our family does the karma thing for presents, which is way saner than all that shoppingshoppingshopping madness.

11 Bryan { 11.04.07 at 12:03 am }

Cats and Christmas trees can rarely share the same space without a disaster.

12 hipparchia { 11.04.07 at 9:36 am }

the most notable disaster in our family was the christmas tree that i knocked over when i was a kid, but for a reliable source of demolition, cats are hard to beat.