Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ho Ho Ho, It's Halloween

Saturday my grandson MacGregor and I went Halloween shopping in a small gift shop in town. Boy it was scary. There were huge fuzzy spiders and yards of web-like material. We looked at pumpkin shaped outdoor lights and some horrifying rubber masks in shapes of skeletons and vampires. Wending our way to the back of the store we passed witch hats and jumping out ghosts. Then we turned a corner and encountered the most frightening thing of all: Santa Claus!

We found the back section of the shop devoted to Christmas ornaments, creches in many degrees of tackiness, and a gift card shelf full of holiday greetings, none of which had artistic merit. I did look. For the record, my six-year-old grandson and I began Christmas shopping on October 13th.

It's fashionable to deplore this trend, and I hate agreeing with fashion. Also, as my few readers know, I believe in finishing my Christmas shopping before Halloween (not that I always live according to my beliefs). I've even written a book about planning Christmas, which sells poorly. I think books about elves, books about insanity, and books about smarmy sentimentality sell better than a tiny book about making your life better by being sane.

Being counterfashionable, and having committed myself to being organized, I should welcome this earliness, shouldn't I?
But I just can't. It was more fun when preparations happened in secret, between notebook covers, within the recesses of file folders, at the computer late at night. This whole scene of dolls drinking tea in TV ads and Santa in one's face at every turn unites the chattering classes in antipathy. I can't delight in it and I can't figure out who does. I suppose it must be good for business or it wouldn't be happening.

Bah, Humbug!

P.S. "The Santa Book" by Pat Caplan Andrews is available at buybooksontheweb.com



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor God indeed! Great stuff


4:57 PM  

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