As my eyes scan my inbox this morning, I am painfully reminded that Black Friday is just four short days away. For many, this illustrious occasion – unofficial holiday, if you will – involves taking your turkey in a to-go box and sitting in a lawn chair outside of Best Buy all night, wrapped up to your eyeballs, bonding with other lunatics over $400 3D TVs.
Black Friday also ushers in all the holiday commercials one could ever want.
Tired, stressed individuals like myself have to endure a month’s worth of battling zombies attracted by the sound of bells, the scent of canned cinnamon, and softly twinkling lights, just to pick up cat food. Getting shoved, sworn at, trampled over, or into arguments with nine-dollar-an-hour stockboys over semisweet chocolate morsels is commonplace, and having B-List celebrities dance their way into your heart, in insincere attempts to sell you socks with rainbow-colored toes, are occurrences about which no one bats an eyelash.
Ellen gives away pieces of her soul as audience members stagger and faint, 3M tries to convince us we need removable tape strips to hang our garland, and Lexuses (or is it Lexii?) roll around town adorned with giant, red velvet bows. Do you know anyone who’s ever received a Lexus for Christmas? I don’t. I never even got a puppy.
We are easily convinced that gift sets containing trial-sized shave gel and nose trimming shears are the perfect gift, that candy normally sold in silver foil packages somehow tastes better in green foil packages, and ten-carat gold pendants adorned with cloudy diamond chips will go straight to her heart, though I suspect they go straight to the return counter.
Horrified children do time on Santa’s lap in the spirit of making memories, and we see decorations that we know will disintegrate by New Year’s Eve, but can’t seem to keep ourselves from buying, anyway. If, by Christmas, you haven’t gagged to death on mocha mint, you’re in good shape, and just in time to hop into your Hess truck to pick up a fruitcake.
That said, I actually enjoy the holiday season (minus, of course, having to injure the elderly for antibacterial wipes), the Jingle Cats (I know), and Straight No Chaser’s 12 Days of Christmas. These are the things with which I torture my friends and family every year. Like a tradition. And think about it: Christmas truly wouldn’t be the same without Santa freestyling with the Fugees. Though, I do appreciate those of us who speak out about having it happen too soon.
Besides, how many times, realistically, can you hear Last Christmas without flying into a homicidal rage?
The Christmas season should start the day after Thanksgiving. That’s the natural order of things. You wouldn’t like it if your holiday bills arrived three months in adva – wait, they already do.
That’s the rule, albeit unofficial, and rules were meant to be followed. When they’re not, the 90210 kids reunite to bring chinos “for the entire family”, the two Coreys emerge from obscurity to put their esteemed stamp of approval on mail-order steaks, and Christmas carols go techno.
The universe goes wrong. Sweet Baby Jesus just rolls around in his little crèche.
So, let’s not forget: It’s not officially Christmas until St. Nick clears the finish line in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Choose otherwise, and you know the consequences.