September Scrooge

It’s September 23, the second full day of autumn.  Hallowe’en is five weeks away and OH MY GOD THE CHRISTMAS CRAP IS OUT

You’re a mean one.

Are you fucking serious?

Evidently so.

We spotted these disgraceful sights at a Costco is southern Ontario.  The temperature today was a not exactly Yuletide-esque 33C/91F.  It’s hard to think about Christmas when it’s hot enough to cause heat stroke.

(I realize in Australia it’s Christmas in summer, but that’s wrong and Australia is a Godforsaken land of horror where every child’s only Christmas wish is to not be eaten by spiders and dingoes.)

I’m not trying to be a Scrooge.  I like Christmas.  When I was a kid, of course Christmas was the greatest thing that could happen to a human.  I briefly got a little Scroogelike when I was in my 20s and it didn’t seem very special anymore, but now I have kids and it’s awesome again.  I like presents and stockings and decorations and turkey and having family over.  It’s a chance to make your loved ones a little extra happy and it’s great.  I wear my hilarious Christmas sweater and serve drinks and eat too much and it’s a blast.  There’s a reason people like Christmas, except in Australia, where December is when the poisonous snakes are most active, and on average kill 10,000 Australians a day.

But the thing about Christmas is precisely that it’s special.  It only comes once a year.  If the Christmas season is spread to September it starts to lose the magic.  There’s nothing special about Santa Claus if he’s around every month of the year, though Santa’s magical abilities would be welcomed year round in Australia, where hundreds of children every year are devoured by crocodiles while walking to school.

I acknowledge stores do have to make money, and someone has to feed the slave labor making those Grinch miniatures up there.  Christmas commercialization is fine; I’m a capitalist and people gotta get paid.  But there’s profit-seeking and there’s irritating.  I would at least ask this; wait until after Hallowe’en, for Christ’s sake.  We’ve got a perfectly good festival/holiday type deal coming up on October 31 that stores can absolutely sell the bejeezus out of with decorations, candy, costumes, pumpkins, everything orange and black and other themed stuff.  I’m sure Wal Mart can load up a cardboard display box with Blu Rays of “Lost Boys” and “Cabin in the Woods” to capitalize on the theme of fear.  (Apparently some people still use those things.)   Then on November 1, go nuts with Christmas.

Granted, we have a family interest in this as we love Hallowe’en.  My wife is the biggest Hallowe’en fan in the world.  She goes all out.  We have decorations, we have statues, we have severed heads and limbs, we have stage blood.  Hallowe’en movies are played in the garage for people to see. She won an award for best decorated house in the neighborhood one year.  We’re trying to source full-size candy bars this year so our house is more attractive still.  It’s a big deal.   We want to enjoy it before everything goes red and green.

This year we are giving the kids fewer presents than ever; we’re taking them to the Dominican Republic instead, where you can swim in the ocean without a 15% chance of being killed by a jellyfish (as is the case in Australia.)   Our idea here is rather than spending our money on a bunch of things, half of which end up being forgotten within a month, we’ll provide them with cool memories.  Seven other relatives are going.  Can’t beat that.

I guess that’s a very first world answer to the first world problem of too many possessions, but it’s what I got.  I’d rather have those kinds of moments in time than any toy.

Happy Hallowe’en to everyone in advance, and I’m very sorry for the people of Melbourne, Australia, and the terror they are facing with all the sharks.

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