Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Changing lanes: Pushing the Christmas season

November 16, 2005

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go," as the old classic goes.

The only problem with that scene is that it's Nov. 16.

The first line of the Christmas song is a warm and fuzzy feeling -- but it's better served in the middle of December rather than mid-November.

It's a given that department and discount stores roll out Christmas merchandise well before Dec. 25, but it becomes a bit ridiculous when a Kansas City radio station plays Christmas music well before Thanksgiving.

Temperatures reached into the 70s last weekend. Obviously it's abnormal for the temperature to be that warm in the middle of November, but it seems odd driving down the highway with one's car vents set on "cool" as a radio station plays "Holly Jolly Christmas."

It just doesn't mesh.

Drive around the Tonganoxie area and one will find a few Christmas lights already being put up on houses.

I appreciate Christmas for its religious significance and also look forward to the secular traditions of the holiday season.

But this special time of year should last for only a month.

Thanksgiving has importance as a holiday itself, but the holiday, a cornucopia of family, fall colors and plentiful food, gets lost in the early start of the Christmas season.

At the Legends shopping center, which opened its Legends 14 movie theater complex Friday near Kansas Speedway, a large Christmas tree is positioned at the front entrance.

I admit the tree looks great, but speakers outside the theater blared "The Twelve Days of Christmas" during the weekend. A more accurate song last weekend would have been "The two months of Christmas."

And at some regional businesses, Salvation Army kettles already are out -- complete with bell-ringers.

Usually bell-ringers don't start seeking donations until after Thanksgiving. Perhaps that's more of a commentary on the national economy than on pushing the Christmas season.

Nonetheless, it's a shock to see the familiar red kettles and hear that ring-ring-ring on Nov. 12.

I know that retail businesses want to get a head start on the Christmas season, but there have to be limits.

Don't get me wrong. My first name isn't Ebenezer, and I've never plotted to steal all the presents in Whoville.

But everything has its time, and the Christmas holiday season should not start before Thanksgiving.

It's true that I'll soon be dreaming of a white Christmas, but I won't have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head until Thanksgiving is a memory.

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