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Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like...

Let's put aside the fact that I am addicted to Starbucks coffee.  It is beyond cliche and I am a bit embarrassed by it.  The struggling writer with the disheveled hair sucking down overpriced coffee twice a day is NOT something I am proud of.

Nevertheless, the store is right down the street and I happen to think the coffee is great.  I drink it black and I like it bold.  Nothing, in my opinion, compares.

But as I entered my local for the now mandatory second cup (I mean, it's dark at 5pm for God's sake!) this afternoon I was thoroughly disappointed at what I saw.  There, on November 12th, were countless baristas transforming the space into a Christmas wonderland.  They even erected a fake plastic tree with ornaments, garland and a nauseating star.

It is bad enough they switch their signature cups to the seasonal red ones on November 1st.  They fail to realize we here in the Northeast celebrate Halloween in mid-November these days.  Why the big rush???

I understand we want to feed the beast that is Holiday shopping/commercialism.  The retail business relies, er, lives and dies based on these next few weeks.  Therefore, we all kind of live and die by it.  I do not wish to dismiss or diminish its importance.   But do we all need this early reminder that Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa is coming?  The healthy supply of catalogs are more than we need for this.  Who are these companies and what do they do the rest of the year?  Frontgate?  Harry and David?  I got one the other day from In the Company of Dogs?  Does anyone know how many trees JCrew, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware kill each year?  Haven't they heard of the interweb??

The problem is far bigger.  My guess is you can walk through any Target, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, you name it, and find ominous/hideous/ostentatious displays imploring us to BUY, BUY, BUY!

And of these displays what exactly is necessary?  I know it isn't an overpriced mug from Starbucks.  It isn't a great sweater deal at a big box store or HD TV.  Those are just things.

Coming off a rough few weeks which saw many of us waiting in line for gas and eating canned soup by candlelight isn't it time to stop and prioritize?

Rushing the Holiday season is a great place to start.  That is,  putting the end to the rush would be most welcome.  I usually hate or ignore the ubiquitous eCards everyone posts on Facebook, but this one was particularly good.  It read: "Black Friday, Because only in America do we wait in line and trample others for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have."

After all, the next Holiday is Thanksgiving.

How will it be this year in Staten Island?  Or Rockaway?  Or Seaside Heights?

Are those folks wondering what time they can line up on Black Friday for "Door buster sales?"

It is high time we slow things down and enjoy the now.

Maybe I am biased because I was born on Thanksgiving.   It might explain why it bothers me that it is too often overlooked.

In my World we should all be tracing our hands and making paper turkeys.  We should be preparing our menu for next Thursday and thinking about which pants will work best to accommodate the copious amounts of food we will soon eat.  And lest we forget that blasted Macy's parade?  Big, bold, silly balloons sprinkled with awkward lip synched performances and eager high school marching bands acting as background fodder while the kitchen warms with savory smells and fond memories.

That is a Holiday.

Let the shopping and rest of the season start soon thereafter, and not a moment sooner.



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