An open letter to Santa's "elves" at department stores
Dear Santa’s Little Helper;
Thank you for putting down the tinsel long enough to read this letter. I’ll be as brief as a snowflake in Florida.
The other day -- a few days before the first official day of Autumn -- I was buying sunscreen at the store, and had to move a case of candy canes in order to reach the SPF 50. It occurred to me, not for the first time, that perhaps the major retail outlets are putting out your Christmas merchandise just a wee bit early.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the holidays as much as the next gal, but I like to think I’m an equal opportunity reveler, enjoying all of the other holidays that come in between New Year’s and Christmas. And since we’re not planning on dressing as elves for Halloween, or having gingerbread stuffing with our Thanksgiving turkey, perhaps you were a bit premature when you put up that whole Christmas tree ornament department next to Macy’s lingerie section before the Autumnal Equinox.
Is it really necessary to begin the retail Christmas frenzy so early? Most standard Advent calendars usually allow the countdown 24 days out -- not 107. I realize stores must capitalize on the sales frenzy that can accompany the Christmas season, but I dare say that not too many consumers I know are in the market for their snowflake table linens and cans of spray snow this much before Columbus Day.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate a sense of readiness. It’s just that when I see partridges in pear trees that still have their leaves, well, it tends to have a dampening effect on my Christmas spirit. I simply want to clutch my wallet a little tighter, Scrooge-like, for another couple of months, in a Dickens-Dillards protest. Somehow I think this defeats your ultimate sales goal.
So how about you hold off on the icicle lights and North Pole Dioramas, and we meet back here on Black Friday? In the meantime, enjoy a Color Tour or carve a pumpkin like the rest of us do in October and let’s enjoy this particular joyous season.
P.S. Please accept the enclosed early gift. It’s the Julian calendar that the rest of us follow that include all 12 months, not just one really long December. Perhaps you’ll find it helpful.
[Photo: The look on Ralphie's face in "A Christmas Story" is how we felt when we saw ornaments in August.]