‘Twas Forty Nights Before Christmas…

Somewhere — a place off-limits to normal folks — there’s a shadowy cabal of business masterminds sitting around a table, organizing the migration of Christmas season from where it used to be to where they want it to be. The end result is: I was walking by a Mrs. Field’s Cookies on 6th Avenue today and heard Feliz Navidad playing. After that, I became keenly aware of what I consider to be premature holiday intrusions. Annoyances such as the Christmas tree in Pier 1 and the techno-remix of some holiday classic wafting out of a Coach store, home of the overpriced knapsack.
If my memory serves correctly, the old holiday season started after Thanksgiving. Right after, as a matter of fact. As you were drifting to sleep from your tryptophan overdose the radio stations were shifting to their all-Xmas-all-the-time format. The one that puts Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on 17 minute rotation. The next day was the official shopping day, and if you were insane and wanted to be miserable you’d head to the malls with the other billion nitwits who also thought shopping en masse was a great idea. The season lasted until Dick Clark declared it over, around January 1st or so.
Alas, Thanksgiving is no longer the guidepost that tells one where the Holiday stretch begins. This year, stores were unpacking the Christmas trees and manger scenes as they were removing the Frankensteins and skeletons from their windows. If Santa were real, and dead, he’d be spinning around in his grave.
Next year, I imagine the holiday season will start around July 4th. Choreographed fireworks displays will segue from the triumphant finale of the 1812 Overture into Little Drummer Boy. The fireworks will explode to reveal the dates of the Macy’s One Day Sale.
I wanted push for a leap year of sorts, where we reset the calendar and start holiday season in the right place. However, it occurred to me that at the rate we’re going they’ll eventually push Christmas season so far back it will actually start around Christmas.