I’m a Mean One

Unless you grew up under a rock, you recognize this image from the incomparable How the Grinch Stole Christmas holiday special, characters by the inimitable Dr. Seuss, animation and direction by the peerless Chuck Jones. I am totally feeling the Grinch as he stares balefully down on Whoville right now.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks and getting blasted by Christmas music. Note the date above. We haven’t even, to quote the Coneheads, “consumed mass quantities.” No turkey coma. No football immersion. No Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (best moment from the past few years: Cartoon Network Rickrolling the entire parade with the actual Rick Astley). It’s actually just a normal Saturday, but I’m being forced to endure the twin atrocities of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” Ho ho ho my fanny.

Let us just state for the record that we at Chez mimi are not anti-Christmas. We can get downright jovial. But we know how to focus on the season properly, which usually entails buying a tree later so it lasts through Epiphany and attending church throughout Advent, not just swooping in for an annual hit-and-run at the Christmas Eve service, with a followup on Easter Sunday.

What’s provoking this spew of Grinchlike bile? The incessant holiday creep that invades earlier and earlier each year. Starbucks is actually showing amazing restraint by holding off on the holiday music this long. Walmart has had trees and decorations available since just after Labor Day, for Pete’s sake–yet another reason they’re at the absolute bottom of my shopping pile. When you start thinking of praising a retailer for restraint for holding off on the mistletoe until the day after Halloween, something is seriously skewed.

That’s why I’m a big fan of Nordstrom. If I were aspirational in the income department, I’d shop there all the time just as a thank you for their no-Christmas-decorations-until-after-Thanksgiving policy. (Check out a news story about it here.) It’s just too bad that they have to post signs about the policy because people have become so inured to the shopping season stupidity.

It’s gotten so bad that KellyKellyKellyKelly, one of my oldest and dearest friends who happens to work for a major retail chain, told me that the mall where her store is located has demanded that all stores open at midnight on Black Friday. Frickin’ MIDNIGHT. If you’ve ever worked in retail, you know that a midnight opening means someone has to be there earlier, so that means lots of employees cutting their Thanksgiving Day short so they can allow denuded buttheads the ability to worship at the altar of consumerism RIGHT AWAY.

People, the stores aren’t going anywhere. If part of your holiday spirit involves going to a mall in the dark of night to grab bargains and elbow it out with rude, impatient people, then be my guest. I’ll be tucked in my bed. Visions of sugarplums optional.

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