It’s the first of December. In yesterday’s mail was a flyer advertising "last-minute gifts."
Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always thought that doing one’s Christmas shopping early meant getting most of it done before, say, December 15. Last-minute shoppers were those few lost souls, predominately male, frantically searching the depleted aisles on Christmas Eve.
Not any more, apparently. Last-minute now seems to apply to anything purchased in December. We’re being subjected to ever-increasing "Christmas creep."
The holiday season—or at least the holiday shopping season—is expanding faster than an elastic waistband during Christmas dinner. Stores routinely seem to be putting up holiday decorations the day after Halloween. Ads for this year’s "must-have" gifts start appearing in early November. And don’t even get me started on the retail frenzy of "black Friday," that overstressed 24 hours formerly known as the day after Thanksgiving.
Christmas creep drives me nuts. It’s outrageous. It’s ridiculous. It’s offensive. My inner Grinch wants to react with a hissy fit—stomping her feet and shouting, "Just stop this nonsense! It’s ruining Christmas!"
Of course, the more logical part of my mind knows that my Christmas is only ruined by this bunch of over-eager retailers if I allow it to be. The challenge is to observe the holiday according to my own season and on my own terms. For me this year, that has meant choosing to ignore most of the pre-Thanksgiving holiday hype. I don’t watch much television, so ignoring those ads has been fairly easy, especially with the help of the mute button on the remote control. The half-inch stack of newspaper inserts on the Sunday before Thanksgiving were useful for starting fires in the wood burning stove. I even chose not to contribute to the Salvation Army kettles (set out by November 20) until December.
My solution to Christmas creep? Don’t participate. Let’s all keep our checkbooks and credit cards in our wallets until such time as seems reasonable for the Christmas season to start. I figure that, if enough of us ignore all this holiday pseudo-urgency, eventually it will go away. It’s a sound theory, and I truly believe it can work.
Now all I need to do is persuade my inner Grinch that passive resistance is the way to go. First, though, I have to find her. I think she’s hiding under the bed. I can hear her muttering to herself. It sounds like she’s saying, "What ever happened to Thanksgiving?"