Merry Capitalismas

I’d just like to say thank you to all of my friends for failing to inform me that Christmas is just around the corner.

At least the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was nice enough to tell me – in September. They told me that if I bought my Radio City Christmas Spectacular tickets early, I would ride free on the Metro-North.

However, they weren’t the only ones to extend the gratuitous reminder.

I went to Duane Reade to see what Halloween costumes they had. Granted, it was October 2 and I was a bit late; those costumes had been out since July Fourth. As I looked at the last of the Dracula fangs, I glanced over to my left.

“Aww, look, a Santa Claus costume,” I said to myself. Then I saw the box of 50 iridescent blinking Christmas tree lights. The snowman that boogied to “Winter Wonderland.” The red, green and silver foiled Hershey’s Kisses. The rows and rows of cellophane-wrapped candy canes, standing tall.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Christmas is over two months away,” I said to the woman in the blue apron standing next to me. She gave me a look of what I perceived to be understanding. In reality, it was a shut-up-and-let-me-finish-stocking-the-shelves-with-multicolored-gift-bows-so-get-out-of-my-way look.

It was depressing.

As I left the store with my shopping bag filled with a glow-in-the-dark wig, fake eyelashes and a plastic pumpkin (which all happened to be on 25 percent clearance; the store had to make room for conversation hearts and Russell Stover chocolates), I couldn’t help but feeling, well, a little bah humbug-y. It was October 2 and I was already sick of Christmas.

I wasn’t always this way. When I was younger, I remember distinct holidays: New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Celebrate one – bam! – on to the next. Even Santa Claus knows when to wait for his turn – he waves at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

My countdown to Christmas began on my Advent calendar, not the “X Many More Shopping Days Left” calendar stuck conspicuously in between the J.C. Penney’s and Target sales flyers in my Sunday paper. Did you know that, including today, there are only 43 days left to whip out your wallet and hand over those new $20 bills to the happy cashier? Season of giving, indeed.

I generally try to avoid the mall beginning in October. The one by my house has already decked its halls with boughs of holly-day sales and strains of fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la echo on Musak – you know, that annoying elevator music that stays in your head all day. I’ve resolved that issue by doing all my holiday shopping online. No lines, no hassle, no donning we now our gay apparel. Heck, I even stay in my pajamas.

Maybe we should just rename the holiday “Capitalismas.” After all, I’m learning year after year that it’s all about the money.

So, if you’re wondering why I’m not joining you at the “Buy two, get one free including snazzy gift wrap” sale on Black Friday, it’s because I’m at home, eating a leftover turkey sandwich from my Thanksgiving dinner. That’s right, Thanksgiving. The holiday the stores forgot.

I guess there’s not much investment potential in saying “thank you” for what we already have.

One Response to “Merry Capitalismas”

  1. […] shopping. I thought he had hit his head when he was a child. You know how I treat Black Friday – with turkey, mayo and iceberg lettuce on Wonderbread while in pajamas. He suggested Target, no less. I demanded I drive, because I didn’t trust his driving in […]

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