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Michelle Turnberg, Published October 14 2011

Turnberg: Christmas already? Thank you, but no

I’m not ready to celebrate Christmas yet. I’m not even ready for Halloween, certainly not Thanksgiving.

Make no mistake, the holiday season has arrived – or at least the commercialization that surrounds it. Every year, the big corporations that set the cultural tone for our country seem to be sneaking Christmas in a little bit earlier. I heard rumblings there were some displays set up in September, and I recently happened across the display at Target.

I find it hard to stay away from the Fifty Dollar store (that’s Target – meaning every time I go there, even to buy a toothbrush, I end up spending $50). But when I’m in search of a Halloween costume and candy and come across rows of Christmas lights and decorations, I can’t help but wonder: What’s the date today?

It’s 80 degrees outside, kids have barely cracked their textbooks, we are WEEKS away from Halloween, and it’s time to start buying Christmas presents? Every year, the shopping season gets longer and longer. Pretty soon we’ll be watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, and when we get home, we’ll put up the tree, start drinking eggnog and listen to Bing Crosby.

Who knows, maybe 50 years from now, we’ll celebrate the following Christmas before the upcoming Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas – I just don’t like starting it so early. It seems kind of cruel to begin the public build-up in September and October and then make the kids wait more than two or three months until they can open their presents.

The over-exposure of all things merry and bright dilutes the great feeling you’re supposed to get when the actual holiday arrives. These days, the holiday season is so long that I’m actually relieved once Christmas is over.

When the Fifty Dollar store is replacing the back-to-school stuff with Christmas decorations, something needs to change.

Maybe we need to start a movement like Occupy Wall Street. Instead of voicing our displeasure with corporate greed and politics, we could peacefully battle the monstrosity that has become the extended Christmas shopping season. And we’ll do it in honor of the first two victims – Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Isn’t Christmas more enjoyable when we’ve celebrated the spookiness of Halloween and the tradition of the Thanksgiving meal? To me, there’s a buildup to Christmas that wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for Christmas’ little brothers. They need some love, too.

Starting the Christmas hype machine after Thanksgiving is fine; starting it when it’s still 80 degrees out seems ridiculous.

Santa Claus is coming to town? He never left.

Michelle Turnberg writes a regular column for The Forum. Email her at michelleturnberg@gmail.com.