As my eyes scan my email 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 (minus those establishments who have already crossed that sacred day-after-Thanksgiving line. I’m talking to you, Kohl’s. And, ahem, Target).
Excuse me. Something in my throat.
Poor, stressed individuals like myself have to endure a month’s worth of fighting zombies attracted by the sound of bells, the scent of canned cinnamon, and softly twinkling lights, in heroic attempts to pick up diapers and cat food. Getting shoved, sworn at, trampled, or into arguments with seven-dollar-an-hour stockboys over semisweet chocolate morsels is commonplace, and having Biz Markie spit-rap his way into your heart, in a most sincere attempt to sell you rainbow-colored socks with toes, are occurrences about which no one bats an eyelash.
Oprah 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 somehow tastes better from green foil packages, and 10k gold pendants with cloudy chips of diamonds glued in 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 them anyway. If, by Christmas, you haven’t gagged to death on artificial mocha mint flavoring, you’re in good shape, and just in time to hop in your Hess truck to pick up a fruitcake. To bring it to your very own house full of fruitcakes.
All that said, I still can’t say I mind all this stuff. I actually enjoy the season (minus, of course, having to injure elderly people for diapers), the Jingle Cats (I know), and Straight No Chaser’s 12 Days of Christmas. These are things I torture my friends and family with 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 when we speak out about not having it all happen too soon. I don’t want the arrival of Christmas to feel like I’m in the backseat, at the drive-in, with the captain of the football team. Again.
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 - oh.
That’s the rule, albeit unofficial, and rules were meant to be followed. When they’re not, the 90210 kids band back together to bring chinos for the entire family, the two Coreys rise from the ashes 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.