What About This?

By Wayne William Cipriano

Christmas really snuck up on me this year, but it ain’t my fault, and I’ll tell you why.

Being rural and retired as we are, the days and their numbers tend to slide by. I’m much more sensitive to seasons than to Wednesdays.

I may be oblivious but I’m not suicidal: I KNOW Rosalie’s birthday and our anniversary, but for Halloween, Thanksgivings, and Christmas I pretty much rely on the media and their advertisers to warn me in plenty of time for whatever celebration is approaching. It has always worked out well before.

This year, however, that strategy failed me, and it is all the fault of the artificial Christmas tree company’s advertising agency that placed a television ad for those fake trees on September 21. Yes, that’s not a misprint, September. That’s barely after Labor Day for gosh sakes. And, of course, realizing that I had months, MONTHS, to prepare, I just started ignoring all the Christmas commercials. And that’s why I got so far behind the curve of Christmas preparations.

Thank goodness for my birthday (coincidentally on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) being a little more than two weeks before Christmas and therefore a reliable warning that Rosalie always makes into a Special Day. This year I clicked to the upcoming Yuletide Bliss just in time. But it was close.

Now there is no one who supports freedom of expression more than I do. I even believe in it so much that I am willing to have that freedom of expression enjoyed by others as well as myself. And that goes for controversial literature, campaign promises, porn, even advertisements. But, just like porn, you’d like to see a little self-constraint applied to advertisements – just because you can say it or advertise it whenever you want, you don’t HAVE to begin Christmas ads in SEPTEMBER! Couldn’t we have some sort of informal agreement among retailers, producers, and us consumers to just hold off a little while longer?

Yes, I understand the many benefits to the business community of earlier and earlier “Christmas Seasons.” If stuff is purchased early enough, it can get lost, stolen, broken while being “tested” by parents, even given as gifts so prematurely that they cannot be considered Christmas gifts and must be replaced as Christmas draws near.

I’d like it a lot better if those first Christmas ads occurred on the Monday before Thanksgiving. We’d be reminded to listen closely over the T-Day Table for gift clues. We’d get revved up for Black Friday. But most of all, we’d know to begin preparations for The Big One, a short month away and too close to ignore, like I did this year.

Not a law, or regulation you understand, just and agreement over a handshake.