Angels we have heard on high,
Tell us to go out and BUY. – Tom Lehrer, “A Christmas Carol”
Though I should be used to it by now, the ridiculously-early Christmas displays still come as a shock to me. The first one this year was at our local farm supply store, which was actually putting out Christmas merchandise (sans decoration) fully two weeks before Halloween. Because this particular establishment has no Halloween merchandise, I was irresistibly reminded of my own statement from last year’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: “were it not for Halloween’s growing popularity as an adult drinking holiday [Christmas displays] might have broken into October by now.” But all the non-farm-supply-venues didn’t wait much longer; the City of Seattle was putting up its decorations the Monday after I arrived, and I saw more than a few fully-decked houses from the train coming back into Chicago on the 21st. And who could forget this cheery holiday scene from Ferguson, Missouri this past Monday, courtesy of Reuters?
Actually, that’s an apt (if grim) metaphor for what Yuletide in the United States has become: a superficial show of holiday cheer and “goodwill to Man” draped over the ugliness of a fully-realized fascist state. Because my Outlook email filters don’t work on webmail, I was forced to hand-delete countless pieces of “Black Friday” spam while I was traveling, and some of them actually did what I’ve been grimly joking for years they soon would do: refer to Thanksgiving Day as “Black Friday Eve”. Words fail me.
Needless to say, I won’t be leaving my property today except perhaps to go to the mailbox. Instead, I plan to find and decorate a tree, work on my blog, enjoy leftovers from yesterday and perhaps call a few of my friends. Though I do indeed buy presents for those I love, that can wait for another day when the lemmings aren’t swarming quite so thickly (and dangerously). And you can bet I’ll do as much of it online as possible, so as to avoid as much of the fake festivity of the stores as I possibly can.