Sunday, November 18, 2012

What's The Rush?

The Christmas-- sorry, -holiday- music has begun.  I think the dedicated 24/7 holiday music channels have already been on the air on Sirius/XM for a week.  The "Black Friday" sales ads have been running for at least that long (more on that later this week).  The Salvation Army ringer was outside our neighborhood grocery store by last weekend, as well.  

Are you sensing a theme, here?  Of course you are.  But this isn't a rant against the steady creep of Christmas-- sorry, -the holidays- backwards, up the calendar toward summer.  No, this is a rant about the fact that it's not just Christm-- the holidays.  It seems that we are jumping the gun on almost everything, these days.  We have to get all the holiday songs played, all the sales sold, all the decorations hung, like, RIGHT NOW!!  WhyBecause we need to get it out of the way of New Year's.  

We'll need to put New Year's behind us by no later than December 27th, because we have to make room for the college football championship, the NFL playoffs, American Idol, Martin Luther King Day (or as South Carolina and Arizona still prefer, "Monday") and the Super Bowl.  And those things better get a move on, because all the Valentine's Day cards and candy MUST be sold by January 24th.  Otherwise, there is a risk that those commercials could intermingle with the Presidents' Day sale ads, which would lead to a new recession.  

I know this stuff doesn't sound like a big deal, but it doesn't take much of it to set off a catastrophic chain of of causality.  If Valentine's Day interferes with Presidents' Day, then Presidents' Day will step on spring fashion, Easter (spring holiday) and March Madness, causing space-time to collapse upon itself, snuffing out the universe.  And if back-to-school season isn't over by July 4th -- well, you don't want to know what would happen.

Obviously I could go on, but I won't.  My point is simple:  what is the rush?  I understand that -the holidays- has become so important to our nation's economy that it warrants more than a week or two of attention.  But is FIVE weeks not enough?  And do kids need to interrupt their summer vacations at the halfway point to shop for school supplies?  How long do these things take?  Must everything be compressed forward in time, a little more each year?  Where's the line?  How much time do we need to spend being prematurely hyper-sold in honor of annual events?  

The answer is simple, yet sad.  We need to spend all of our time preparing for the next thing, and the very second that thing arrives, we need to shift our focus to the next next thing, and so on.  We need this.  We need it because we've been trained to need it.  And we shouldn't complain, because this works for us.  It works.  

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a pre-Halloween sale at CVS, and I'd better get in line now, or all the frozen turkeys and Whitman's Samplers will be gone.

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