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On November 1st I celebrated my 40th birthday. A significant day in my life, my family's life (by default), and the entire world's apparently! Because, apparently, the world has officially gone crazy the day I turned 40...Let me explain... On November 1st of the year 2007 the United States of America unilaterally decided to now entirely ignore Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas! And why the hell not, I guess? Right? Not enough bucks in selling a few million turkeys and the fixin's that go with it. Turkey is really actually pretty darn affordable per pound. Giblets, corn, pumpkin pie?...all reasonably priced items.

Now Halloween on the other hand generates a nice tidy sum for retailers. You got the costumes (which ain't cheap), the slew of parties which usually involve quite a bit of alcohol (big bucks), and the billions spent on all that wonderful candy! So we go nuts on Halloween and the retailers enjoy this.

But Thanksgiving? Nope...not a whole lot of money required for the families of America to enjoy this beloved holiday and the quality time spent with their loving families, getting together to give thanks for all the good fortune we have.

Not the right "fortune" I guess though, right? In America we want the LITERAL "fortune" not the figurative one.

BUT CHRISTMAS?!! Woo-WEEE!!! That is some HUGE buckaroos spent there my friend...the "literal fortune" and then some! It's estimated that most retailers generate 40% of their yearly income on Christmas sales alone! 40% spent for ONE SINGLE DAY!!! Pretty substantial, hey? Yep, and apparently, because of this, we've (they've) decided to skip Thanksgiving decorations, advertising, songs (I know, there's not many), etc. and go right from Halloween to the Christmas festivities. Each and every year we have--as a nation--tried our collective darndest to get Christmas rammed down the buying publics throats as soon as possible. The most noticeable way was always the tv ads starting earlier and earlier every year. Annoying, right? Yeah, very...but that seemed to be the extent of it for the most part. For the retailers of America there was always that darned Thanksgiving getting in their way! How could they avoid it? The stores would go from their Halloween themed decor immediately to their Thanksgiving decorations. And then on the day after Thanksgiving the blitzkrieg would start! Wee-hoo! There was "Black Friday" where all the idiots would line up at Wal-Marts (camp out even!) starting before the crack of dawn, frothing at the mouth, sometimes getting in fistfights or trampled to death to save a few bucks on the latest Precious Moments figurines.

Well, not anymore. This year we have truly gone to Hell. November 1st, 2007 not only marked my 40th birthday (and let me remind you that November 1st is also ALL SAINTS DAY) but it was also the day and year that Christmas finally, and completely, went from what was supposed to be the most blessed day on earth to what it really is for 90% of our populace...a 60(ish) day extravaganza to uncontrollably piss away a lot of money on a lot of crap no one really needs.

And what, pray tell, happened on November 1st to make me think this you ask? Well, on the way to lunch at my favorite restaurant I almost vomited when Sandy leaned over to change the radio station and said, "Did you hear this yet?" and I gave her a confused look. Her finger tapped one of the buttons and the local station WMYX lit up on the took me a few seconds before I realized what I was hearing!...Yes, you guessed it, Christmas music! "What the...?!" I said, "But it must be just the one song some idiot requested right?" I added. NOPE! This local station--which I will now and forever from this day forth BOYCOTT--proudly announced that from this day until Christmas they'd be playing all Christmas music 24 hours a day! "What the HELL?!!!" I spat! "You have got to be S***ing me!" Nope.

Okay, so it's one a-holeish radio station, right? Sadly, wrong! In the following hours they mobiliozed! It seemed this was an organized decision! As we drove down the street we saw was happening...the Halloween decor came down and what was going up in its place?...Thanksgiving stuff right? That's what always happens...It-it's the next major holiday after all!!! Nope. The Christmas crap was going up all over the place. The florists, the restaurants, the bank, etc. They all decided to skip Thanksgiving and go straight to the Christmas bucks...get a jump on the competition! And the competition took notice! The floodgates opened wide! For in the following days, one-by-one, they all jumped on the "skip Thanksgiving day" bandwagon. "Let's just pretend it doesn't exist," they thought. "People are stupid. They are sheep! They will buy what we tell them to buy."

And sadly they're right. For the most part anyways. People will flock to the stores and they will spend more than they usually do. More than they can probably afford. Our local mall even had a "lighting of the tree" celebration THIS WEEK where Santa himself appeared to greet the children and give the parents an opportunity to purchase their photos of the kids and Santa early! Wow! Thank you Bayshore Mall! You're the greatest.

We're boycotting them, too.

My guess is that at least 30% of people don't even know the real origin of Christmas anymore. And don't get me wrong!...I'm not a "Bible thumper"...not at all! Trust me. But this IS a religious holiday, isn't it? I forget. A holiday that is supposed to celebrate the life of a man who died for our sins...remember? Isn't "Gluttony" one of the seven deadly sins? Yeah, I know, "gluttony's" not one of the Ten Commandments but there is a lot of "Thou shalt not covet..." going on in there and I think spending shitloads of money on boatloads of trinkets and crap is close enough...Hey, I went to Confirmation classes and learned all that good stuff!

But, whatever, bottom line is that somehow I seriously doubt that when Jesus was up there on the cross he wondered how much Gross National Product would be generated on the day we celebrated his birth!



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