Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's Not Deck the Halls Just Yet...

So, it's Friday. It's all gloomy outside, as though the sky is thinking about raining but doesn't quite have the energy to do so. It's like all mornings at the end of the week where your alarm goes off and you think, "five more minutes," and roll over, trying to get up the energy to sit up and eventually crawl out of bed. Not that weather has an alarm clock...but you get the idea. It's supposed to rain a lot today. I'm going to my parents tonight and it's supposed to snow there, even though it's a mere two hours north.

But it might be good for it to snow. You see, apparently, it's almost Christmas. I know this because my TV tells me so. I've never made a secret of the fact that I watch a fair amount of television. I have my regular shows for the week. I've also told you that I don't have TiVo. I actually don't have cable. I also have to get one of those digital converter box thingies. I even got the $50 credit towards it. Note to self: Buy digital converter box.

Anyway, so, without TiVo, I tend to watch most of my shows live. Which means I also watch the adverts- or commercials- depending on which side of the ocean you're from. Now, I actually don't mind watching commercials, especially now the damn election ads are done. (Hooray for that, by the way). I enjoy the PC/Mac commercials because I'm a bit of a geek and they make me laugh. My favourite one is the one where the PC demonstrates the line of teas that Microsoft has invented to soothe harried Windows users (Refresh Raspberry being my favourite). I'm also a sucker for the adverts that have funny acts of violence in them such as the one for Sprint (I think) where the two men were comparing phone features and one of them claimed to have theft deterrent which he demonstrated by throwing the phone at the other man's head. had some my all time favourites in which they'd try to make an impact on viewers of the commercial by unleashing packs of wolves on high school bands and firing gerbils from a cannon.

Ok, yes, let's get it out of the way: I have a bit of a dark sense of humour. It's not like any real band kids or gerbils got hurt. And throwing a cell phone at someone's head is probably a little mean but it still made me laugh because it was so unexpected.

Anyway, so I actually pay attention to the commercials. I like them, particularly if they're entertaining. I'm a good little consumer: If the ad makes an impact, I might be inclined to consider checking out the product. After all, I love that little Cockney Geico Gekko so much, I actually switched to Geico for my car insurance needs.

And, um, actually, that's true. Mock all you like. He's cute. I even have a little statue of him on my desk. So there.

Back to the blog topic at hand. Now that the election is done (did I mention...hurrah!?), I've been paying more attention to the ads again. And, well, I've noticed a disturbing trend.

Christmas. My TV is showing me commercials for Christmas stuff.

Here's the thing: I adore Christmas. I love the snow, the holly, the decorating of the tree, the delicious baking that surrounds me, particularly my mum's sausage rolls and mince pies, the gift buying, the gift wrapping, the carols...all of it. I love the comfort of the holidays. I even love the crazy shopping, most of the time.

It's just...well...I'm not ready for it yet. I don't think we're supposed to be. It was Halloween a week ago. Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet. It's still three weeks away.

I suppose we're lucky, really. I've noticed that Wal-Mart has subtly been sneaking in Christmas stuff into their garden section since late August. Lowes too.

I know it's an attempt to get people spending money sooner. I know that stores think the earlier they start selling stuff, the more money they can make. I just don't like that.

I'm ok with Christmas hitting in full swing the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, last year, I was one of the psycho-shoppers looking for the bargains at 4 a.m. It was an experience, that's all I'll say. I just like to be prepared.

The thing is, I actually have started Christmas shopping. I try to buy gifts that I think people would like when I find them. This means I don't have a mad dash right before Christmas and also allows me to spend more wisely. But that was my trick and I liked being able to peruse stores WITHOUT the insipid "Frosty the Snowman" type songs being played on a repeatable track and without everyone crowding in in case they just happen to find that Tickle Me Elmo v.5000 that also works as a personal assistant as well as having maniacal giggling fits when you tickle it.*

I also don't like Christmas to be forced on me like this. I want it to sink in, slowly. I want the first snowfall in November to be quiet and stand on it's own merit; I don't want to have it ruined by a sudden rush of Christmas cheer. I want to be able to still have a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks until Thanksgiving and THEN I want to have the option of a Gingerbread Latte instead. Pumpkin comes before Gingerbread and it spans two holidays- Halloween and Thanksgiving. Let me have my Dryers pumpkin ice-cream for a couple more weeks until I have to dig through the Candy Cane Crunch to see if Wal-Mart still has it.

And, Wal-Mart, DO NOT turn put your Christmas food stuff in the juice aisle. Seriously, I want to go buy my Juicy Juice without being distracted by the increasingly large array of candy-cane flavours. Seriously, candy canes=peppermint. What is up with with the cinnamon chocolate ones? I love licorice but even I would not consider eating a licorice candy cane.

Well, not until Christmas, anyway.

So, that's my rant for now. In a couple of weeks, I might be ready to hit the department stores and start shopping. This means it will be freezing cold out so that you have to wear a heavy coat and then when you get inside, you will almost die of heatstroke inside the department stores. That's a Christmas tradition in itself I think.

Some traditions I could deal with now. Like mum's baking. Particularly the sausage rolls. Those can be a year-round thing. Or even a this-weekend thing. And yes, Captain Monkeypants is nothing if not a subtle hinter.

But as for the rest of Christmas, I don't think any of us are really ready to start decking the halls, going on sleigh rides, dreaming of a white Christmas or roasting chestnuts on an open fire. We all have rotting pumpkins to clear away, Halloween candy to buy at 75% off and Thanksgiving turkey to think about first. Only when the blissful peace of a Thanksgiving Night after all the guests leave settles upon us should we turn our thoughts to Christmas.

And until then, I will try to ignore the commericals I see on my tv and avoid the juice aisle in Walmart. Maybe I'll start drinking fresh juice instead. I really like that Florida Orange juice commercial with the man on a crate talking about things that he likes....

Happy Friday. Have a great weekend!

*Note: There is no such thing as Tickle Me Elmo v.5000 to the best of my knowledge just in case you decided to go looking for it or something. I made it up. Obviously.

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