We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
And, of course, as the holiday shopping season advances further and further every year, and more and more people buy their presents at some "Pre-Christmas Summer Close-Out Sale", fewer and fewer people spend their money during December, the actual holiday shopping season.
As such, every year after Christmas, the major chains complain more and more about how holiday sales were "disappointing". Every year, a longer season, and a bigger disappointment.
Now, in a rational world, the retailers would recognize this terrible trend and do something to counter it. Like, oh, actually leaving the holiday shopping season for the holidays.
Despite the loud sighs and eye rolling that usually occurs when shoppers see Christmas decorations in stores parked next to an aisle of Halloween candy, shoppers are taking advantage of the layaway programs, the toy reservation schemes and early discounting as a way to soften the holiday’s blow to the household budget.
If you read my article, you'll recognize 'early discounting' as one of the innumerable, interminable reasons for the disappointing season.
But wait, you cry! That's just one silly article. Surely, the media isn't actually going to fall for such tomfoolery, are they?
As bad as it seems for us as shoppers, I truly feel sorry for the folks who have to work at these stores that start Christmas Musak earlier and earlier each year - Really, who wants to listen to Christmas carols ALL day, EVERY day for months on end.
Don't get me wrong, I like Rudolph as much as anyone else; but, after the umpteenth time I think I would go nuts! And then to deal with members of the public on top of that? (members of the public who will, no lie, trample you to death to get that "gotta have" sale item)
There is a very valid reason I avoid shopping malls.
There used to be a time when I could leave work early (before we had kids) on Dec 23rd and wander the stores looking at this and that and having a good time eventually buying a piece of jewelry or a blouse she wanted and something for me - usually a new tool of some sort like a new type of turning tool or a lathe faceplate - whatever.
Now? Ugh - can't stand the season anymore - all the fun has gone out of it because of the earlier and earlier and earlier "Christmas" season. I still enjoy Christmas because with the Grandkids and the occasional spousal surprise gift (last year I had her favorite opal ring reset with sapphires), but the run up just turns me off.
Roger de Hauteville's Older Brother Joe
There's just something about watching a Santa sweat in the summer sun that's annoying.