Who would've thought that Nordstrom would be the kind of company that would have a rational approach toward holiday commercialism? It's true. Five days before Thanksgiving, I saw a sign inside the main entrance of the UTC store that said the following: “At Nordstrom we won't be decking our halls until Friday, November 23. Why? Well we just like the idea of a celebrating one holiday at a time…. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Well, amen! So nice to see somebody over there in super-ultra-mega-corporation-land is finally addressing the issue of the Ever Creeping Christmas. I'm talking about the problem of how, every year, they—and by “they” I mean the Overlords of Christmas Spirit—start introducing Christmas just a little bit sooner than the year before.
The first incident of premature Chrismaculation I noticed was in the beginning of November. It was that Coca-Cola Santa commercial, I think. When it came on, I shuddered.
“No!” I yelled at the TV. “No no no no no no no no,” over and over until I slumped back in my chair defeated, the spittle of contempt drooling from the corners of my mouth, mumbling, “Please, Lord, not now, not now.”
Once upon a time, there was an unwritten law that forbade any of this halls-decking business until after Thanksgiving. But what do the Overlords of Christmas Spirit care about unwritten laws? They just keep inching their Christmases ever forward, making us wonder when will it all stop? When they turn Mardi Gras into Christi-Gras? When they make Santa deliver Easter baskets? Hell, why not just make it Christmas all the time? Why not stay in a constant state of orgiastic yuletide fervor until all our brains simultaneously explode?
Nobody in his right mind would want that, except for maybe the Christmas Pollyannas, those who don't have the good sense to dread Christmas, who go flitting around in a yuletide haze as though their brains had been replaced by cheese balls. Other than them, I think it's fair to say the rest of us don't want to mess around with Christmas until after Thanksgiving. What's the rush? What's so bad about Thanksgiving that we have to blow right past it to get to Christmas? Thanksgiving rocks! You've got your turkey and your pumpkin pie. You've got your sweet potato casserole. You've got your football. Oh yeah, Thanksgiving's got football! And not that pimply-faced university shit, either.
Thanksgiving's got real, adult, NFL-style, man-death football. And the best part about man-death-style adult football on Thanksgiving is that the Cowboys always play, so you always get to root for the other team to chop off their heads and gut their innards like the dirty turkeys they are.
And last but not least, you've got family and friends, Law and Order marathons and Alice's Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie's still-relevant epic ode to the absurdity of war, the hypocrisy of authority and the simple pleasures of hippie Thanksgivings. Yeah, there are so many reasons to be thankful for Thanksgiving, but sometimes it seems all the Christmas Overlords want us to be thankful for is the fact that Christmas is coming.
Talk about an attention hog. Christmas is by far the most popular holiday. You would think Christmas would have no need to go swooping in on Thanksgiving's digs. But, oh no! Christmastime isn't enough time for Christmas. Christmas has to take Thanksgiving's time, too. And Thanksgiving never complains, because that's how Thanksgiving rolls—which is all the more reason we must do something to stop this Noël nonsense from creeping any further into the calendar year. Otherwise, it will grow and grow until the Christmas Overlord Borg assimilates every holiday.
I am reminded of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller: First they came for Thanksgiving, but I did not speak up, because I do not like cranberry sauce.
Then they came for Easter, and I did not speak up, for I do not relate to bunnies.
When they came for Fat Tuesday, and I did not speak, because I'm more of a weekend guy.
And when they took my birthday away, there was no one left to speak but me.I'm not trying to be all Christmas humbuggy here. But these holidays must not merge. They are the commemoration of different events: Thanksgiving is the remembrance of the day the Pilgrims thanked the Wampanoag for saving their asses by systematically enslaving, infecting and ultimately exterminating their race. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the person in whose name they did it.
Look, I know it's too late this year. If you're reading these words, then Dallas has already stomped the New York Jets and you have long ago finished the leftovers. But maybe next year we can go back to honoring the aforementioned unwritten rule. Even better, let's write it down. Let's make it an official legislative act. We'll call it the No More Early Christmases Act of 2007: Session 1, Statute 543, which shall state:
“By act of Congress, it shall be unlawful to advertise Christmas sales or events; nor shall Christmas Muzak be piped into the stores or elevators, or Christmas movies released, or Christmas stamps licked, or creepy nativity scenes erected in your front yard; nor may you write letters on jingle bell stationery, or schedule “Secret Santa” parties, or televise Christmas-themed sitcom episodes. And for crissake, do not don your gay apparel, or troll the ancient yuletide carol (unless you're caroling about hating Dallas) or say “Merry Christmas” in passing. Nor shall it be permissible, upon the passing of this act, to write, speak or even think about Christmas, unless to write, speak or think that you won't be acknowledging it until after Thanksgiving, lest the worms of a million sugar plums be made to dine upon your eyeballs by the order of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America.” E-mail email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Dallas Cowboy vitriol, visit www.edwindecker.com.