Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rip Van Winkle

“Mom, look at the Christmas tree!” my son exclaimed as we walked into a store lobby today. I felt like Rip Van Winkle. Did I sleep through Halloween and Thanksgiving?

I understand that retailers are encouraging an early shopping season. I suppose the theory is to get people to spend what little money they have now before the economy takes a nose dive. Maybe all the decorations work on some people, but it makes me feel anxious and want to stay far, far away from stores full of frantic shoppers.

I’m not an early shopper anyway, although I do admit I’ve picked up a few things already. Where I’ve put them is another matter, however. My theory is we should forget spending all of our money on items from China that we don’t really need. If things get that bad, we just have to get creative.

Goodness knows, I’ve been there before. One Christmas I re-gifted all my childhood stuffed animals and dolls to my daughter. She was the first (and only one) of her friends to receive an original Cabbage Patch doll and Miss Piggy puppet. Fortunately, my mom had gotten rid of my Betsy Wetsy.

Another Christmas, while I was in college with very little money, I carefully picked out gifts for my family. They were quite delighted and made a fuss over each present, telling me what a great job I did choosing it. I was so pleased with myself that I blurted, “Can you believe I got them all at the Dollar Store?”

They dropped them like hot potatoes. So much for it’s the thought that counts.

Seriously, though, I hate to see retailers rush the season. Thanksgiving doesn’t even get a nod anymore, which is a shame because it’s really the best holiday. Family, food, football, parades and no silly gift exchange.

Forget Santa. Maybe we should go back to sleep and wake up in, say, March. You know, come to think of it, St. Patrick's Day isn't such a bad holiday.


Vivi said...

I had a similar experience this week while out looking for a Halloween costume. I was a little shocked when I saw so much Christmas in there. They don't really do Halloween here, but you can find stuff at a few places.
Love reading your writing. I check back often.

jo(e) said...

The Christmas stuff in the stores seems to come earlier each year. Maybe eventually they will just leave it up year round.