Christmas Is Here...Sort Of

Rethinking the idea of Christmas coming early...
October 18, 2009
Last Fall, I wrote an article entitled "Christmas, Are You Kidding Me?". The link to it can be found here:

As you can see, I had a variety of thoughts about the Christmas season coming ever earlier. This year, I just decided to say "I don't care. Bring Christmas on".

What caused me to come to that conclusion? Here are a few reasons.

1.) It's a matter of going with the flow. I'm often thinking about the past or dreading the future, but my psychologists have taught me about living in the moment, and at this moment, I've once again started seeing ads for the "Radio City Christmas Show" (Or "...Christmas Spectacular", depending on the advertising you're reading).

I often expressed dread whenever I saw that commercial, but then I realized that it's something that can cheer up a person in a bad situation. For example, let's say that there's a kid who gets good grades in school, but gets bullied by the people around him. This kid comes home and turns on the TV. He sees a commercial filled with Christmasy images and it could cheer him up.

Christmas is a time of year that can cheer you up, and seeing something like that can remind you that something positive is around the corner.

2.) Time goes by very fast. This could be related to number one. Where I live, we didn't really have much of a Summer. It was raining at least once a week and the weather was just warm most of the time, as opposed to hot. With that, I was able to slip into Fall without any issue whatsoever. Some movies can feel that way as well. For example, a perennial movie for both Halloween and Christmas is "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

I think this film is the ultimate example of how time keeps moving. Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon) sees a different time when he enters Christmas Town. He becomes so enraptured by it that he decides to do something new. His new school of thought ends up screwing things up royally, but he grows from his experiences.

As times move ever faster, you have to face yourself, good, bad and otherwise, sooner or later. You can either sit back or take charge. With the idea of candy on Halloween and presents at Christmas as incentives, the choice should be easy to make. Sometimes things can be frightening and you'll want to escape, but looking within yourself can be good as well. Maybe that's the whole idea behind the concept of "naughty and nice lists". To get rewards, you need to put effort into it. You need to make a concerted effort to be nice, to help others, to be a good person. That's what Jack did, and that's why I think it's a good movie. I need to see it again soon. It'll be on in a couple of weeks, I think.

3.) It can be fascinating watching how things juxtapose. I'm always interested in seeing how people and things come together. I wonder what level they all meet at.

In retail, you can see plastic pumpkins and Christmas lights across from each other:

You can go to a Halloween costume party and see an Elvira look-a-like having a drink with someone who looks like she could lure away Santa Claus from Mrs. Claus:

You can turn on your TV and watch Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) house light up so much that it could blind you in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", then go down a few channels and watch Freddy Kruegger (Robert Englund) slashing some teenagers in one of the "Nightmare On Elm Street" movies.

I work out in the Wal-Mart parking lot as a cart pusher, and you can always see a wide variety of people there. It's especially interesting at Halloween, when you can see people dressed as vampires, pimps and Presidents (I imagine some readers saying "I can't tell the difference"). Black Friday then comes up about a month later and the store seems like a Benetton ad with people crowding the aisles to get stuff. It brings out the best and worst in people. You never how you truly are until a major Holiday comes about.

4.) The 4th reason why I look forward to the Christmas season so much is because 3 days before it is a very special day. To be specific, it's my birthday. I get presents on my birthday, as well as on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. As Madonna was once a Material Girl, I guess you could say I'm a Material Boy.

In December, I'm pretty much the emotional doppelganger of this aspect of Madonna's career. Her song was all about presents...Not music or movies, but things that cost thousands, maybe even millions of dollars.

The song probably wasn't intended to be seen this way, but I can view it as a metaphor for both Halloween and Christmas. On Halloween, it's all about grabbing as much candy as possible. At Christmas, it's about hoping you get as many things on your list as possible. Nobody is above wanting lots of stuff...Whether it be children, bankers or madmen holding people hostage, everybody wants something. Even people who run charities want money to keep their operations in business...The planet is full of people who want it all and want it as soon as possible. Some are just more honest about it than others.

I wasn't even supposed to be born on December 22nd. I was actually supposed to be born several days earlier. You never know what can happen, though. Do we have any readers who were born around Christmas time? My parties have always been enjoyable, but I'll save that for an article I'll be writing in December.

5.) To cap it off, the 5th reason why I've decided to embrace Christmas coming early is because of my family. I love them all very much, but we do have our share of arguments, and sometimes they can very heated. When it gets to be October, though, things start cooling down in more ways than one. Both my Mom and my brother's birthday are in October, and so this is a very special month for them. We feel better about each other around this time of year, although we still have rough patches. Christmas finally arrives, and all is right among us, if only for 24 hours or so. If Christmas stuff comes out in October, I don't care anymore, because I know that a day of peace is right around the corner.

It's odd to say something like this, but my family life hasn't always been fun and games. I'm an Aspie, my Mom has cancer, I have aunts and uncles with drinking and gambling issues who tend to give bad advice on occasion, I have a cousin-in-law who can be a bully even though he's a special education teacher...Somehow, at Christmas, none of that matters. We all experience these issues with ourselves and with each other throughout the year, but when the Christmas season rolls around, we all take the attitude of not caring about problems, and instead just celebrate the idea of family. We're dysfunctional to be sure, but we love each other all the same.

In summation, I once was annoyed with the idea of Christmas coming early, but then I decided to embrace it. When TV stations air "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon" in June, and you see Christmas in July sales, what else can you do?

Now the floor is open for discussions:

Have your thoughts on the early arrival of the Christmas season changed? Do you still think it's happening too soon? Have you just said "Fuck it" and decided to go with whatever happens?
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