Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Annual peeve

For the 4th year in a row I'm going to run this column. I'll keep running it until this practice stops. Which likely means the post will be here every damn year until I retire/die/get institutionalized.

In the past I've addressed it to the President. But since nobody (except me) running for office this year considers it to be a major issue, I'm making it the center of my campaign platform. And, if elected, I will carry it out!

Fellow citizens,

We now face a national crisis of such serious proportions that it dwarfs other issues, such as global warming, health care, and middle-east peace. It now threatens the very fabric of our society, and directly affects every citizen. And I can remain silent no longer.

It's still September, and every store near me ALREADY HAS THEIR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UP!

I have nothing against the holidays. Peace on Earth and all that stuff. But moving them up as if they were being held in another time-zone or alternate universe is getting out-of-hand. As far as I know, Christmas hasn't budged in my lifetime. And treating every day like it was Christmas (like the stores seem to want me to do) is not helping.

The well-respected Nick documentary program, The Fairly Oddparents, has carefully researched what would happen if Christmas were held every day (Episode 107, air date 12-12-01 I have kids, OKAY!). Their conclusion? It would be catastrophic.

There also seems to be a degree of unintentional discrimination. For example, Hanukkah starts several weeks before Christmas this year, but I don't see Hanukkah decorations going up yet. In fact, I haven't seen any at all. Or Kwanzaa stuff. Or Festivus. Or New Year's.

This seasonal perversion extends to other holidays, too. I mean, by January 2nd most stores are decked out with Easter junk, and on July 5th the Halloween crap is up.

So, if elected, I promise the following, federally mandated solutions (please note: I'm only including those holidays that retailers love. Let's face it, not many of us are out there buying gifts for Groundhog day or cards for Columbus day. I'm also leaving out local holidays like Delaware Statehood Day, the Montana Huckleberry Harvest Celebration, and the Byron, Illinois, Turkey Testicle Festival).

Valentine's Day Decorations will NOT be put up until the 3rd week of January.

St. Patrick's Day Decorations will NOT be put up until after March 1st.

Passover/Easter decorations will NOT be put up until after St. Patrick's day.

Independance day decorations (July 4th) will NOT be put up until the 3rd week of June.

Halloween stuff will NOT be put up before October 1st

Thanksgiving Stuff will NOT be put up before November 1st.

Christmas/New Year/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus stuff will NOT be put up until the day after Thanksgiving.

(Please note: there should be some flexibility here, as Hanukkah and Easter/Passover may vary, but decorations should NOT be hung more then 3 weeks prior to holiday onset).

An alternative plan would be to have a single annual holiday combining all of the above, called St. Christmukahpasseastkwanpatfourthnewfestgivingween. Decorations for the combined holidays may be hung for 30 days prior to this event, and MUST be removed the day after.

Punishment for business owners who violate these laws would be on a 3-step basis:

1st offense: Business license revoked for one month.

2nd offense: Tarred, feathered, and forced to eat fruitcake.

3rd offense: Drawn and quartered, then served with fava beans and a nice chianti.

Yours truly,

Ibee Grumpy, M.D.

34 comments:

cliffintokyo said...

It seems that the devastating combination of your pet peeve and your hyperactive imagination has dumbfounded all the usual suspects! (On the other hand it might still be 5am on your side of the world....)
Absolutely agree; too-early hints that Xmas is a-coming also make me panic! I NEVER know what to get for people, however early I start!

Cliff

Anonymous said...

If I was living in the USA, you'd get my vote.

Suze said...

It happens in Australia too. Easter stuff comes out on Dec 26 and most stores have their decorations on sale but have not put up too many things yet.

Give a body a break.....Can we no enjoy the ordinary times as well?

Mallory said...

I agree with you on the decorations, but my supermarket gets Christmas food in in a week or two... three whole months of Panettone! Yum! Frankly, it does go some way towards salving my Christmas-induced irritation.

Amanda said...

I'd support that ticket.

Anonymous said...

You would love Nordstrom's policy. They post a sign at the entrances of their stores stating that they will not place any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I used to leave in one of those cookie cutter neighborhoods and they had home owner association rules about decorations. They could not go up until one month before the holiday and had to be down by two weeks after. They were seroius too, I got a warning letter to take down my decorations the second week of January or be fined.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

I'd vote for you.

Anonymous said...

And a new law that states if your xmals lights arent down by 3rd week in January - $250.00 fine!!

Anonymous said...

I remember one of our favorite things about thanksgiving was to go see the stores the next morning- they would have magically turned into Christmas decorations overnight. Your local stores waited til September? Many by me had Xmas stuff up in August. Was at a store today and my Santa-loving 6 year old asked me why decorations were already up- "I honestly have no idea" was all I could say. Got a laugh from the people shopping in the Xmas section tho...

bobbie said...

Amen.

Christie Critters said...

you have my vote! But about the fruitcake part of the punishment - you need to specifically exclude my "unless you are a hater you'll love it" fruitcake....
maybe change it to tasteless, dry as a bone, frosted sugar cookies

gloria p said...

Merchants are in the business of selling and they have to do something with that holiday space between holidays. It bothers me more that you can't find a parka or snowboots in late January (it's all cruisewear or Easter) or a swimsuit after 4th of July (when it all becomes back-to-school.)

No matter how early Christmas decorations and mdse. are displayed, there are always people still shopping when the stores close on Dec. 24th. Four months of merchandising hasn't been enough to remind them.

Decorations don't "magically" appear overnight. Some poor buggers worked all night on a holiday to make that happen.

Don't let it bother you. You don't have to be one of the sheep.

jennifer said...

This is why we love you, Dr. Grumpy!

Ivan Ilyich said...

I used to like one particular dense type of fruitcake. I stashed one in my grandmother's freezer, and sliced off a piece for a treat every few months. It must have lasted four or five years without noticeable deterioration.

Dr. Moonbeam said...

Loud applause here. I was horrified to see the Halloween merchandise being put out on September 1 at my local Target.

Mockingbird said...

Whoa Dr. Grumpy; that's a little too grumpy.
And I thought the retailers' leadup to Talk Like a Pirate Day was a little bit over the top.
Remember that retailers' and homeowners' are just exercising their right of free speech, and Gretchen Wilson leaves her Christmas lights on her porch all year long. Don't cross that pretty little rattler.

darchole said...

September? One local craft store starting putting Xmas things out at the end of July!

Anonymous said...

Drat. I just got my plastic Viking helmet (with horns) for Leif Erikson Day, but that, of course, is only a couple of weeks away. You MAY claim the store was merely displaying Halloween stuff way to early, but Odin and I know better.

Charles said...

Mockingbird, I'll second you on that Gretchen Wilson thing - Yea, why bother taking them down? You'd only have to put them up again next year.

I go up on the roof ONCE a year - to clean the leaves out of the gutters and replace the burnt out bulbs in the plastic Santa and reindeer. (kill two chores in one trip, I say)

Grumpy, sorry if all this makes you even more grumpy; so, I promise I won't share any of my fruitcake with you; although you can listen to my Gretchen Wilson CDs anytime.

Anonymous said...

I have read this each and every year and love it more every time. However, I want to know where you live because where I live the Christmas stuff came out in July. And in all of those stores, I have yet to see anything for Hanukkah Kwanzaa, Festivus, La Posada, or New Year's. You have it good in your neck of the woods.

Do you decorate your office? Many of my doctors do. Ironically, the Jewish doctors have more Christmas stuff than Hanukkah. I have to wonder whose doing the decorating. And the doctors are so busy doing all the doctor stuff they probably don't have time to notice (or decorate)!

And while I am ranting, it pisses me off when friends send me Christmas cards knowing I am Jewish. I don't send everyone Hanukkah cards because I am Jewish. I buy both and send the appropriate card to each person. And if I don't know, they get a generic one. And if it's a really good year, and I can find a good generic one, everyone gets that.

When I used to teach, it never failed; around September the kids would start asking me, Miss (insert my name) are you Christmas or Hanukkah?"

UGH!

VOTE IBEE in November!

Ms. Donna said...

You must be psychic. I just saw a "Walley World" near me with a "Christmas Store" banner on the front. I thought of Dear Dr. G instantly.

MDaisy said...

Dr. Grumpy is onto something here. Yesterday the grocery ad had holiday grapes on sale. Mind you Halloween has not arrived and neither has Thanksgiving. Also, we are just under a 100 degrees outside so the holiday spirit is not in motion unless I want to see Santa in swim trunks, Mrs. Claus in a bikini, his elves dress in tropical shirts and shorts, and the Reindeer with their summer coats on. No, it is not Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Thank you Dr. Grumpy!

Packer said...

Which likely means the post will be here every damn year until I retire/die/get institutionalized.



$50 bucks on institutionalized.

Crazy RxMan said...

Will someone please tell my neighbors they should take down the Christmas lights on their house instead of leaving them tacked up there year round?

Anonymous said...

I'd vote for you but wouldn't want you to waste good fruit cake on these offenders.

gin4407 said...

There is a Turkey Testicle Festival?!?!? ......I feel completely out of the loop......

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this reminder, Dr Grumpy. I've had other things on my mind of late, and this issue hadn't even crossed it, yet. I thought about Christmas in July when it was so hot and I was longing for some cooler weather, or being assigned to working in the cooler someplace, and then again on the 25th of August when I realized that there was less than 4 months left to think about the upcoming holiday. But that was it. So, when I saw the candied fruit display at Meijers yesterday, I wondered if my coupon for buy one get one free was still good from last year, since the green maraschinos and pineapple glace hadn't been out since last winter, and then when I passed the college sweatshirts display and long-handled underwear down the center aisle for sale and I thought to myself that I wasn't going to get them until the store dropped the prices competitively with Wal-mart, and and observed a large area where the dorm furniture, naugahyde covered futons, turquoise papa-san plush-covered pillows and lampshades had been cleared out, and was wondering what the next promo going in there, and remarked to the BMI-45 cashier who complained about the heat as the stores a/c are now kicking on now and again, that it really wasn't so bad, but I did not like to shop when I had to wear a coat, and there was heat, plus some loud repetitive music blaring over the intercom, it hadn't even occurred to me that they were gearing up for X-mas displays. Now, I guess I can start wrinkling my forehead to practice frowning when I start hearing Jingle Bells.

Thanks, Dr Grumpy, I haven't even started looking for my pink and purple Advent candles. I should start to panic.

Anonymous said...

I've done that exact same thing. High five!

Mari-Ann said...

I can take the Christmas crap being out in the stores but the freaking Christmas music has me going almost postal by mid-November. There aren't a whole lot of those songs so they tend to play different artist's versions of the same dozen songs. Rum-pa-pa-pum.

Anonymous said...

Good thing you don't live in Santa Claus,IN Christmas decorations 365 all year day in dayout,and the music to go with it Ho Ho Ho, Grumpy!

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with people keeping lights up all year round on the house, as long as it's not super Christmas themed (like reindeer). In college, I tried to keep my lights up all year. I turned them on when I had get togethers/parties. It added to the mood. Unfortunately, I got fined for the lights.

quixote said...

Do you need vigilante enforcers? May I volunteer?

Chicory Blue said...

I was leisurely shopping 2 weeks ago heading into the fall section of. Wallyworld when unsuspecting me rounded a corner....,to find a girl putting out the last of an aisle of Christmas crap....I literally gasp loudly and covered my mouth...she gave me a look...I was horrified at the Christmas stuff....right next to Halloween and thanksgiving which was right next to back to school. I had not even had a chance to look at fall.halloween yet.

 
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