Having ventured to Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York, yesterday to purchase some Halloween items, I was shocked to see the halls – and individual stores – decked with a good deal more than boughs of holly. The entire facility was festooned with Christmas decorations, and my only relief came from not hearing Christmas music.
There is something inherently wrong with Christmas in October. With what is known as Halloween weekend approaching, black and orange are the colors I should be seeing – not red and green. Not only is it appalling to see retailers subsuming the Halloween season like this, but it also seemingly negates a crucial holiday that falls in between Halloween and Christmas known as Thanksgiving.
Many years ago I worked in retail, and I remember decorating the store for Christmas on Thanksgiving Eve. This way when we opened the doors on the day after Thanksgiving, the Black Friday crowds would be greeted with seasonally appropriate decorations and the requisite music pumped over the sound system that went along with it.
As a child I recall my parents waiting until the first weekend in December to decorate the house for Christmas, usually around December 6, which is the feast of Saint Nicholas. My Mom’s German family called this “Little Christmas,” and we would get small gifts and treats on this evening. I always got excited on that day because I knew Christmas was not that far away.
Now is a completely different situation regarding Christmas; thanks to the retail and marketing people wanting to get a jump on the holiday season, the entire year is askew – we get Valentine’s Day items in the stores in early January, Easter decorations and bunnies following immediately after February 14, Fourth of July materials appear sometime in April, and Halloween paraphernalia gets put out in late August.
While I understand these retail executives have the bottom line in mind, they have no appreciation for the spirit of these holidays. Maybe some people do not mind seeing jack-o-lanterns in August, but I find this practice extremely annoying, especially because my kids start bothering me about getting costumes and decorating the house while I am still wearing shorts and thinking about barbecues, the beach, and the pool.
I know it is a losing battle, but I feel turned off by the complete disregard for respecting the integrity of the seasons. Seeing Christmas trees on October 27 is not only annoying, but it lessens my appreciation of just how beautiful the season truly is when the real time for it actually comes around.
When I reached the store that was my destination, I was confronted with a massive Christmas display including Santa’s throne. How fortunate I felt not to have my kids with me so that I could avoid having to explain why Santa would be anywhere near the mall before they went trick or treating.
It is probably pointless to complain about this problem, but I am not going back to the mall until I turn the calendar to December. I know the Christmas soundtrack is coming, and I do not want to subject myself to hearing “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” or any other song or carol for that matter until I am in the Christmas spirit, and now I wonder if I will ever be.
Bah-humbug to all and to all a good night!