Christmas Creep has bothered me since I was old enough to really notice it. Christmas starts earlier and earlier every year, and there's ever more pressure to consume! To buy shit, to go places, to be with family even if all it's going to do is stress you all the fuck out and make for a less-than-appealing family memory. Too much stress, plus too much traffic making for miserable driving, breathing, and shopping.
For a number of years I'd spend the week before Christmas out of town, out of the city, off at my mom and stepdad's quiet little home in Chino Valley. Unplug for a few days, though I don't think that expression was vogue yet.
Haven't done that these past few years but man it's tempting.
It should come as no surprise that I am not a huge fan of this "Let's have Black Friday -- on Thursday!" trend.
I don't shop on Black Friday. I sure as hell don't intend to shop on Black Not-Friday. I hold any company that tries to lure people away from Thanksgiving for holiday savings! in the same contempt they so clearly hold me. And their employees. And their customers.
I heard on the radio that last year showed a sizable dip in early-December shopping, theorized as "shopping fatigue". I hope that keeps happening. I hope it keeps happening until they learn. But unfortunately I don't think they'll ever learn -- any more than the airlines will learn that their business is dipping because they have made flying a fucking miserable experience.
I also heard there are folks saying people should support local businesses on Saturday. If that helps local businesses, hey, that's great -- but I don't really put much stock in "Everybody do X on Such-and-Such-a-Day to send a message!" as a strategy. You know all those "Don't buy gas on Saturday; that'll really show Exxon-Mobil!" forwards your idiot slacktivist friends constantly send you on Facebook? Do you recall any of them ever really showing Exxon-Mobil? No? Well that's because it doesn't hurt Exxon-Mobil's business when everyone just fucking waits until Sunday to buy the same amount of gas.
So while I wholeheartedly endorse supporting local businesses, I really think you should probably be doing it more than one day a year.
Fuck, the whole idea that people should only be encouraged to shop on a single specific day is the problem here.
So support your local business. Saturday, Sunday, whenever the fuck you feel like it. Friday, if you must, though I don't intend to leave the house that day myself.
But if you actually go out and support those turkeyfuckers at Wal-Mart and Target in making their employees knock off Thanksgiving dinner early to come in and sell you shit? Well, look, I know the economy's rough and beggars can't be choosers. But I don't think you need that new TV that damn badly.
On a more cheerful note: there's a whole lot in this life I'm thankful for (for example: not being a retail employee on Thanksgiving), and I hope there's a lot you're thankful for too. I hope you keep that in mind today and enjoy your turkey and gravy and cranberry sauce and what-have-you.
But that's just one more thing that shouldn't be confined to one day a year. Stay upbeat. Keep things in perspective. Remember the good things each and every day.
Now, cooking an entire turkey dinner, on the other hand? That's probably okay to confine to one day a year. That is a whole lot of work.