I would like to start a grass-roots movement to ban the cruel and unusual punishment of American consumers.
I'm talking about Christmas, people.
There is a local radio station that began playing Christmas music on November first. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Upper management should be arrested, tried, and sentenced to wrap gifts at department stores those last two weeks before the big day. Those days when we consumers are beginning to hate everyone and everything about Christmas because it has been shoved down our throats ever since the very instant Halloween was over.
The music is everywhere. The mall, the grocery store, anywhere you could possibly spend a penny.
It's insane. You're handing out Halloween candy one evening and then the next morning on your trip to the grocery store to buy Pepto for either yourself or the kids because some-one had to sample all the candy, you find yourself standing in the check out line humming along to "Jingle Bell Rock".
My local store was putting up decorations and putting out Christmas junk (cookie scented candles, ho-ho-ho boxer shorts) on November third. I know this because I was there.
"Did I miss Thanksgiving?" I asked.
They laughed at me!
Thanksgiving, pish-posh. The retailers can't make any money off of Thanksgiving. Okay, maybe a few restaurants and the grocery stores. But Thanksgiving doesn't cause guilt trip shopping unto the point of bankrupcty. The retailers of American like that, they count on it.
If we'd start giving Thanksgiving presents maybe we'd be allowed stave off Christmas a few weeks.
I know I'm not the only Grinch in the country. Everyone else I know hates it, along with the few strangers being interviewed on the local news moaning about how Christmas is over-hyped too soon (and now a word from our sponsors: cut to Christmas commercial).
So why is it done?
Because the retailers do not care about what their consumers think. If you don't believe me, try to return something to any store and really notice the hostility and distain with which you are treated. You're probably so used to it, you don't really notice anymore.
All they care about is that they might make a few more bucks off of you.
And they won't stop. Even if every person in American complains, they won't stop. Why should they? We throw ourselves in to a frenzy of spending every year.
Decorating the house inside and out.
Gifts for everyone who even wanders around the peripherary of our lives.
The biggest, brightest, bestest of everything for each child in our lives because "it's only once a year".
Parties that require a new dress and shoes and accessories because the same old people are going to be there and God forbid you been seen in something from last year.
Designer wrapping paper and ribbons because the outside of a gift is just as important as what's inside.
On and on. We have been trained like Pavlov's dogs to drag out a credit card at the sound of a Christmas song.
There is no escaping it either because every retailer does it.
What can we do?
Well, there is plenty we can do.
Like make homemade gifts. Like teaching our children that the number of presents under the tree is meaningless. Like the good old days of one main present per child and the rest being socks and shirts and fruit. Like staying home with your family.
The number one thing we can do is spend less money. Not a little less money, but a whole heck of a lot less money. Because then all those retail executives will look at that holiday bottom line and realize they aren't getting that big fat cushy bonus to pay off all their holiday extravaganzas.
Then we'll see some action. Then there will be reports and investigations and a silly interest what we consumers want.
Then perhaps we won't hear Christmas carols until the day after Thanksgiving. Wouldn't that be nice?