Dashing Through the Dough or Rethinking Christmas

It was two weeks ago today, the morning of November 3rd.  Walking through a Walmart and what did I hear?  The all-too familiar strains of …

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling,

Ring ting tingling too

Come on, it’s lovely weather

For a sleigh ride together with you

That’s right… sing along with me!  It was the song  Sleigh Ride.  Christmas music a full 52 days before the blessed day.  And it’s been running non-stop ever since at the world’s largest retailer!  People tell me they heard it in other stores the same week as well.  Here at my local Starbucks — as I write this — you’ll hear an occasional Christmas song, that’s all.  Much better than wall-to-wall Walmart.

Now we’ll be hearing two months of Christmas music.  Last year I noted it was still playing in stores well beyond January 1st.  And what for?

A Walmart Christmas

To celebrate the birth of Christ?  I don’t think so….  Obviously it’s for the proverbial almighty dollar.  The only ring ting tingling dancin’ in the retailer’s heads is the ka-ching of their cash registers.  While a tingling feeling fondles the back of their neck with the thought of big profits and hopes for a banner shopping season!  Retailers, wanting to spread the good cheer, dear reader want you — Walmart shoppers et al — to begin thinking of the holidays and start the spending early.  As if we need reminded of any of it.

Call me crazy.  Better yet… call me “Scrooge”.  But I’d say it’s all a little early!  I mean puhleese can’t we at least wait until we’ve eaten our way through Thanksgiving before bringing on the Christmas cheer money grab?

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love Christmas music. I mean really…  is there anything better than The Chipmunks and thoughts of Alvin’s wanting a Hula Hoop to get us in the mood for Christmas giving?  🙂

Insert 50 Cents

Lets sing some more!!

Outside the snow is falling

And friends are calling “yoo hoo”,

Come on, it’s lovely weather

For a sleigh ride together with you.

Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap,

Let’s go, Let’s look at the show …

No show here, ‘cept the ones put on by the retailers!  And the yoo hoo from “friends”? That’s the all-familiar wishful plea that you the consumer dig into your wallets… reach for those credit cards and spend, spend, spend!  Yoo hoo!  Look at the deals we have for you!  Who?  Retailers are making a mockery of the most sacred day in all of Christendom, and we play right along.

Christmas giving was once a sacred custom.  Gifts given in similitude of those given by the wise men (gold, frankincense and myrrh) to the baby Jesus.  Some do it in recognition of the gift given us through the atonement of the same Christ.  I know it’s heady stuff, but it’s not that way anymore.  Instead it’s more about seeing who can buy the kids the most presents and little to do with remembering the true meaning of Christmas, the reason for the season.Three Wise Men

My former father-in-law who I’ve written about tells a story of his Christmas memories as a boy growing up during the depression.  Those years left an indelible mark on him as it did many of his generation.  While his father always had a job throughout those difficult years, they were still tough times.  His memories of one Christmas morning’s gift was a stocking containing an orange and a single pair of socks.  80 years later he still remembers those simple gifts.

Today it’s iThings, flat screen televisions and gift cards to the most popular stores. Anything high-tech or anything that tips the scales as “fashionable.”  And many of us of the Christian faith, go with the flow and in our zeal to keep up with the Joneses have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

Now I’m all for spreading Christmas cheer!  But can’t it wait ’til at least until after Thanksgiving?  Like that’s going to happen!

Back to the Sleigh Ride!

We’re riding in a wonderland of snow.

Giddy yap, giddy yap, gidd yap,

It’s grand, Just holding your hand,

We’re gliding along with a song

Of a wintry fairy land …

And the beat goes on!  Bah, humbug!!

Finally, just to show I’m not a complete Scrooge, here below is my gift to you… even if it is a little early, and Alvin’s a little flat.

12 thoughts on “Dashing Through the Dough or Rethinking Christmas

  1. Radio station in Philly playing Christmas music as early as the beginning of the week. They drop all their normal programming until after Christmas Day. A second station will do the same shortly. That’s ALL each of them play for over a month. Working at those stations absolutely requires people to be in the Spirit of the Season! Sadly, I must admit I like it. Gets me in the Spirit. I ignore the stuff about stores opening Thanksgiving Night and the rest of the commercialism…but I do like me some Christmas tunes!

    1. Thanks for stopping by sportsattitudes and especially for mentioning the other issue I didn’t address. Stores (like Target) requiring their employess to be at work Thanksgiving night for the big sales starting at midnight. Black Friday has now been moved up a day to get a jump on the competition. How long before it’s Black Tuesday, the day after Labor Day?

      Getting in the spirit is great and highly recommended, so long as the spirit isn’t lost on what the Christmas season is about.

      But six weeks or more? Bah, humbug! (But I repeat myself…)

  2. Well while I agree that retailers begin way too early, on the other hand, consumer spending helps drive the economy, and at the moment the economy needs all the help it can get.

    Since I am an atheist the holiday has no religious meaning for me. I think it is just a great pagan holiday. Conversely, I respect the Chrisitan view of the holiday. The idea of peace on earth good wil to men is something that I can get on board with, but I don’t think we’ll see that anytime soon.

    My favorite holiday observance is watching the film, “A Christmas Story”, where the kid is trying hard to have Santa, or anybody, deliver him a BB gun. Anybody familiar with the line,”you’ll shoot your eye out”, knows the film. So in a few weeks I’ll settle back in my recliner, the one my sweet wife bought me for Christmas two years ago, with a nice big Cuba Libre in hand, I’ll watch my film.

    BTW Rick, thanks for the chipmunks, that’s a fun song.

    1. Thanks for the comment and sharing your thoughts Leroy. I considered the economics when writing my post, but nevertheless I’m not budging… not even for the worship of money/good economic times.

      I too have a favorite holiday observance in the form of a movie. Jimmy Stewart’s It’s a Wonderful Life used to be a tradition strictly observed with my kids. But, changing circumstances have made what used to be an anticipated annual event one that has lost it’s luster.

      Since Merriam-Webster (and a host of others are in close agreement) defines a “Pagan” as: heathen… one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures… an irreligious or hedonistic person I believe the holiday Christmas is anything but “Pagan”.

      But Halloween? That’s a completely different thing. Problem is, I have no favorite movies or receive no gifts to mark what is, in every sense of it’s true meaning, a Pagan observance. The world is messed up!

      Glad you enjoyed The Chipmunks!

      Do comment and do visit again!

      1. I refereed to it as pagan because of it’s Baccanalian aspects. Also once Christianity was decreed as the only acceptable religion in Rome, the Romans tried to make things more acceptable to those pagans holding on to their old beliefs by making Christ’s birth during a December period of pagan celebrations. Most scholars believe Christ would have actually been born in the spring as opposed to the winter.

        Anyhow I see your point too.

      2. Thanks again Lee. My church believes too that Christ was born in the spring time, but who are we to make an issue about it? At least we celebrate the event.

        Baccanalian? I had to look that one up! A festival in honor of Bacchus. A riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity; a revel.

        Is that what Christmas has degenerated to? 🙂

  3. I refuse to participate until after the turkey dinner is done, the dishes washed and everyone has gone home. Then I will have to get in line with all the other mad, Black Friday shoppers to try and catch up.

    No, seriously, I changed the way I celebrate the holiday some time ago to one where no present is necessary other than the gift of having family and friends in to share a meal and practice a little gratitude.

    You said it beautifullly and with a nice bit of humor.

  4. Even the local TV station here has commercials running now with Christmas themed music in them! Before Thanksgiving!!!

    I agree with you completely about this topic! Now a little question for you? Do you perchance read a blog titled “Suldog?” If not,you should and you should submit this blog to him because he has a campaign every year now -for the past 2-3 years now -called “Thanksgiving Comes First” in which he asks his readers to please write a post about the very thing you wrote about here!

    He would really appreciate the support and what’s more, would love this post too! Here’s his url http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com/ -check him out if you’ve never read his blog before. And let him know too about this post!

    Great piece, Rick!

  5. Great post! It’s always refreshing to hear from people who still remember what Christmas is truly about! 🙂

    The Christmas commercialism these days is ridiculous! Plus, most of the ads are ridiculously aggravating to boot. I hate all of those jingles set to a classic Christmas tune going on and on about buying this, that and the other thing.

    On the other hand, I will admit, I love hearing Christmas music on the radio even when it is before Thanksgiving, hehe. Though I never get my own Christmas CDs out until after Thanksgiving, along with anything else Christmasy.

    Have a Merry Christmas! 🙂

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