Editor’s Note: Hope Mongers
Gloom and doom. Gloom and doom. Ho … ho … ho. Gloom and doom.
What an odd time of year — especially this year. As of this writing, Halloween has just passed and the pumpkins aren’t even soggy on the bottoms yet. But stores already are putting out their Christmas stock. And at least one Philadelphia radio station is playing continuous holiday music. Continuous. 24/7.
What of Thanksgiving? Three weeks out and you’re lucky to find a dusty, anemic selection of cards commemorating this humble holiday of gratitude shoved unceremoniously into the far left-hand side of the shelves, pushed aside by the glittery green-and-red onslaught of Christmas greetings.
Yesterday while I was grocery shopping, with a jumble of coupons leaving a trail of cents-off offers behind me as I compared unit prices, a voice came over the loudspeaker announcing that the store “has Wii consoles!”
“Get a head start on the holidays, folks, and get your Wii while we have them!”
Wiis sell for — what? — 500 bucks? If I hadn’t already invested a pretty fair amount of time in the shopping trip, I might have walked out in protest with a resounding harummpppfff, leaving my basket full of store brands and generic equivalents right there in the aisle.
Unfortunately, it’s nothing new. In a few years, we’ll be seeing Christmas tree skirts stocked alongside swimsuit cover-ups in June. Oh, wait … you can’t buy swimsuits in June. By then, the fall clothes are out. Swimsuits you get in February. It’s chaos, really.
But the rush to Christmas seems even more out of joint this year because the economy is so bad. People are losing their homes left and right, having to choose between food and medicine, and still reeling from sky-high gas prices — yet marketing America insists that we start thinking about a severely bastardized and over-the-top holiday that’s two months away. Makes no sense.