It’s almost here. I’m not referring to autumn, Halloween, or even the Pumpkin Porter beer at Four Peaks Brewing Company. I am not talking about Thanksgiving either, but what I am alluding to is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas! Now, for all of you scrooges out there, although I cannot imagine any of my readers fitting the bill, please just simmer down. My sudden enthusiasm, for the upcoming glorious holiday, began quite unexpectedly this past week while I was relaxing at a Starbucks. Well, that’s not completely true. I was already on the Christmas countdown as far back as January 25th, when I announced to my lovely wife, “only eleven months ’til Christmas.” I make a similar declaration, on the 25th of every month, as to how many months are left until the “big day.” It has become one of my many traditions.
Anyway, I was sitting in my usual comfy chair, enjoying a second cup of dark roast coffee, and making a list of my top 10 Prince songs (“Computer Blue” was #1) when I could not believe the words I heard coming from the mouth of a woman who was standing in line at the counter. She was appalled the coffee shop was already offering the seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Spice, and obviously wanted everybody in the store to hear her displeasure. The curmudgeon just kept repeating in a loud voice, “It’s too early!” When the surly woman finally reached the cash register, several minutes later, she again voiced her disapproval, but this time it was aimed directly at the poor soul behind the counter. I was tempted to chime in with, “hey, Christmas is just around the corner,” but I’m sure the angry customer would have then become livid, and most assuredly that wouldn’t have been good for any of us in the entire store.
I don’t exactly know what the woman was trying to accomplish, but Starbucks is a chain store so the corporation, not the employees, makes the decisions. Besides, Pumpkin Spice is simply a flavor, not a holiday, so maybe the angry woman should just settle down. My wife certainly wouldn’t mind if the seasonal flavor was offered all year long. The woman’s complaining did remind me of what I had heard on the news the previous evening. Sam’s Clubs around the country reportedly had Christmas products displayed in their stores, and people were being asked if they thought August was too early to be thinking about Christmas. I knew what my answer was. I left Starbucks and made a mad dash to a Sam’s Club just down the road. It was true.
I suspected I was in for a tremendous treat, immediately after marching through the store’s entrance, when I spied several artificial trees glowing in the distance. The lifelike trees, with their twinkling lights, were a sight to behold. I roamed only the aisles stocked with Christmas merchandise, and I intently examined the varieties of bulbs, ornaments, wreaths, cookie tins, and outdoor displays. The boundless designs and array of colors were a feast for my eyes. Many people complain about the commercialization of Christmas, but I say, “bring it on.” What harm can it do? The people who know the true meaning of Christmas (the reason for the season) aren’t going to forget what the day’s really about, and if the department stores can benefit, from marketing the holiday during late summer, then so be it. We shouldn’t complain about the annual boost to our nation’s economy regardless of when it begins.
I am aware the build up to the “big day” does seem to come earlier every year, but I don’t mind. I’m not even embarrassed admitting I usually begin seriously thinking about Christmas on the 4th of July. That tends to be the date each year when I first realize we are now closer to Christmas future than to Christmas past, and my excitement only increases from that point on. That’s probably why, during the past two months, I have prematurely purchased a couple of stocking stuffers. Every single year as the magnificent holiday approaches I’m like…well, a kid at Christmas, but if you still happen to be a scrooge, at this point into my blog, then how about “I’m like a kid in a candy store” instead. Is that better?
I am not the only one filled with the Christmas spirit this early. My neighbor across the street already has his house decorated with outdoor Christmas lights. The colorful old-fashioned bulbs, stapled to his house and garage, runs the entire length of his roofline. Oh, that’s right, he just hasn’t gotten around to taking them down from last year yet. Some people detest when stores go from promoting Halloween straight to advertising Christmas; therefore, skipping the Thanksgiving holiday altogether. I don’t mind that at all since Thanksgiving is basically a celebration of when the White man trampled my people. Not exactly. The Indians associated with the first Thanksgiving (with the Pilgrims) were Wampanoag Indians whereas I’m Cherokee, but I can still empathize. Besides, I begin listening to holiday music on November 1st, so I’m already in full blown Christmas mode and not too concerned about Thanksgiving when it comes around.
I am inclined to be more jubilant than usual, if you can imagine that, during the holiday season. I think most people change for the better, even if by only the slimmest of margins, as the season nears. Whenever a tragedy strikes our nation, or when a natural disaster occurs in a small town, people tend to unite with one another and become better versions of themselves. I think the Christmas season bears those same kind of results. The human race generally seems more compassionate, generous, and full of good cheer during the month of December more so than any other time of the year. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, how can anyone not be excited about celebrating Santa Claus and the birth of Jesus Christ (not necessarily in that order) on one special day. Brace yourselves people. Christmas is coming!