If you've been in a retail store anytime from the middle of October to now, you've noticed something. There was an alarmingly early display of Christmas items. I took my mother to the grocery the other day, and in the dairy section I noticed that there was already Egg Nog on sale. Out loud, I said “Egg Nog? But it's not even Halloween!” My mother laughed, she laughed a laugh of glee and delight and said “Oh, how I love it.” She's referring to the fact that for years, when she would complain about the sight of Christmas in stores before Thanksgiving, I would call her out on it. She took great delight in gloating over how I was now doing the same thing.
Matter of fact, if one digs through the archives of my column, and goes back a good six or seven years, I actually WROTE about my mother's complaints of “It's not even Thanksgiving”. Since things are coming full circle with my entering into the stage of “It's not even Thanksgiving”, I'd figure I'd make things full circle and write a column about my coming around to it. Even if the sight of it before Thanksgiving is starting to irk me, I think two-three weeks before Halloween is overkill. This is even more shocking for me to say, as I have a reputation of going a little overboard at Christmastime.
Christmas starts for me right after Thanksgiving. As quickly as the last of the leftover turkey is gone, I'm walking around the house decorating things and singing “We Need a Little Christmas”. All of this usually to the horror of any relatives who are still lingering around. One time someone I once dated told me “If you bring another candy cane into this house, I'll murder you in your sleep!”. It seems they had already had more than enough Christmas.
On an afternoon of errands around town the other day, I went into a bookstore where I'm known and friendly with the staff. I was greeted with not one, but two piles of that creepy Spawn of Satan “Elf on the Shelf”. I was no where near ready to see that the week before Halloween, every time I saw the elf doll, I couldn't help but faintly hear “Somebody's Watching Me”. Though this year I will be doing something similar to “Elf of the Shelf” that I came up with last year. “Tom Servo on the Shelf” is going to be my new tradition. Every day leading up to Christmas, I'm going to take a picture of a small figure of the character from Mystery Science Theater 3000 in a different location in my house. It will be glorious.
I do admit that I don't think it's too unreasonable to see Christmas starting to appear as we inch closer to Thanksgiving, people like to get a jump start on things. I know people who actually get out on Black Friday and go shopping in the madness. I did that last year, and I felt like I was going into battle. I got out later than most, and the shelves at Target resembled something you'd see in a Ken Burns documentary about war.
I did find out why it seems this year Christmas is showing up earlier than usual. Thanksgiving runs late, and therefore the Christmas shopping season is short. Retailers are trying to stretch the chance for as much yuletide cheer for their bank accounts as possible. As a result, you have to see that creep elf way earlier than you wanted to. None the less, I have come around to the fray of bemoaning the early glow of tinsel and glitter. I'm putting it all out of mind to focus on feeding a horde of people that will be coming to my house in a few weeks, and where I'm gonna hide Tom Servo.