Corporate hype annihilates meaning of holiday season

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Halloween was really festive this year. There were costumes, candy, parties, Christmas sales. It seems like the corporate side of the holiday season is getting earlier with each passing year.

Malls and department stores are totally shameless. Black Friday, a shopping tradition that is bizarre to begin with, doesn’t even start on Friday anymore. Some places let you stampede in at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. That’s dinnertime.

Don’t people want to digest their pumpkin pie and bond with family and friends? Apparently not as much as they want some cheap made-in-China stocking-stuffers.

This is ridiculous.

Why would anyone want to rush to buy discounted electronics for the very family members they just left alone with a turkey carcass? Even small children who eagerly await the holidays don’t make paper chains much longer than 12 links. Why are people in such a hurry to check a time spent with their families off of their to-do lists?

I went to the Galleria Mall on Black Friday last year, and I’ve never been more embarrassed to be an American. The doors opened at midnight. People were wrapped around the walls to line up for sales that weren’t even that drastic. I really don’t want to be one of the first 100 people to get into H&M so I can get 15 percent off non-sale items. I’d rather sleep off the copious amounts of turkey gravy I’d consumed 6 hours earlier.

Along with millions of other people on this earth, the holiday season is my favorite time of year. It’s something about the combination of cinnamon and cloves, dim lighting, chilly weather, and big comfy sweaters that really make me feel cheerful. The last thing I want to do is use up all of my holiday cheer at the end of November. I want it to be rationed for a few special days spent with the people I love.

What makes this season special is the limited time you have to watch your favorite holiday movies, and sing special songs that aren’t mentioned for the rest of the year.

Having a holiday season that lasts for months ruins the holiday itself. There are about 75 days of sales to buy needless products for loved ones.

It makes the holiday a letdown. All that work, media exposure, and preparation for one morning of pretty paper wrapped around junk. Then it’s off to the next sale. We had all better buy our tiny American flags and sparklers the day after New Years Eve or we’re going to disappoint our friends and family on the Fourth of July.

I’m looking forward to just opening up one of those tiny Christmas trees in a can, making a batch of sugar cookies, slapping on a Santa hat, and visiting with family. This process would take me a maximum of one week, and I would be completely satisfied. Keeping things simple and cheap really does make the season better.

I might as well just dress as Santa and hand out turkey to trick-or-treaters next year. That way, I can get all of this holiday “stress” over with before snow ever touches the ground.

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