Two weeks ago in Orlando, amidst a balmy 75-degree sunset, I saw workers at a hotel near Disney putting up a huge, white-lit frame with intricate designs around one huge shiny word: “ICE”. Clearly this very ironic sign was not descriptive of any nearby location or state. Unless they were advertising the effectiveness of their hallway machines.
Today I walked in to Starbucks in San Francisco to use the restroom, and noticed that everything inside was red and green, with white spinning snowflakey thingies. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was playing, and all sorts of “seasonal favorites” were available for purchase. Mention was made in the various wall advertisements of some “spirit” of the season which is supposedly upon us, whether we like it or not.
Well, I don’t like it! Not yet, anyway. What is everyone trying to pull? Is nothing sacred? I’m actually very angry at our culture right now for trying to tell me that the “holiday season” is here (and not for any spiritual reasons). The earlier in the year we put up Christmas decorations, or decorations for any holiday, for that matter, the less meaningful they become. Yes, I want to experience the festivity of the various holidays that are soon to arrive. But I don’t want to be so bombarded with incessant greed-driven reminders that they are going to be here that I lose all sense of excitement over them.
I can’t think of any more effective way to take the excitement and meaning out of Christmas (or any date-based holiday) than by prepping consumers for it two months in advance. Is there a clearer way to say, “We don’t care about the holiday” than by implying, “What we really care about is the money you spend for it. So spend it now and often…there’s only two months left to give us all your cash! Hurry before time is up!” ??
Ugh, it’s disgusting.