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?
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? 🙂
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.
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.