Public Service Announcement: the “official” order of the holidays (based on the government-based calendar) is still Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Please note the specific order which, by the way, is non-negotiable.

Each year it seems that the human race, or the powers of retail commerce, engage in an increased shopping season to maximize dollars spent by consumers. Not only is the Christmas spirit encouraged on a massively premature scale, well before the designated time, some retail giants launch a competitive Christmas in October campaign (yes, I just made that up). But it’s totally true: I saw Halloween and Christmas offerings in two adjacent isles, prior to the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. I won’t mention the store specifically by name, but hypothetically it is adorned in everything-red and you can’t miss the storefront from the highway, because they painted a giant bullseye above the front door.

Moreover, it seems as if our culture jumps directly from candy corn and jack-o-lanterns to candy canes and mistletoe. What ever happened to Thanksgiving? Why does it get treated like a red-headed stepchild in the national holiday line-up? Is it that our culture has a distinct lack of things for which to be grateful?

Hey, that Big Box Giant is doing it, why can’t we? The WE in this case being everyone and everything else in the known universe. The local mall has constructed a physical footprint for the Big Fat Man already, should he arrive early (read as prior to Thanksgiving). The outdoor shopping malls are giving their nighttime lighting displays of singing angels and perfectly symmetrical pine trees a dry-run, and neighborhood displays are beginning to pop up like rogue rebels of the holiday season. Virtual yahoos feel the need to get in on the business as well. On November 1st, Sirius XM instituted their holiday channel line-up, including Holly radio (channel 70, if you’re curious), and began to infuse the airways with The Christmas Song, White Christmas, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas among the fan favorites.

Oooooooo / Merry Christmas Saint Nick / Christmas comes this time each year / Well way up north where the air gets cold / There’s a tale about Christmas / That you’ve all been told / And a real famous cat all dressed up in red / And he spends all year workin’ out on his sled / It’s the little Saint Nick (little Saint Nick) / It’s the little Saint Nick (little Saint Nick) ~ Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys

I love my Christmas music—and the season is my favorite time of the year—as much as the next man, but I have to ask myself the following questions:

  • How early is too early for Christmas, seriously?
  • How much madness is too much madness?
  • Does my own behavior contribute to the we-all-forgot-about-the-reasonable-timing-of-the-Christmas-season?