Friday, December 5, 2003

Christmas in September

We love the holidays at Cloudjammer, not the least because it provides for much needed time off and excuses the arbitrary company holiday bacchanalia.

But all good things come in moderation...and to those that wait (to pile clichè upon cliché). We considered this recently when discussing holiday shopping habits. I, for one, always delay until the week of Christmas, list in hand, pounding my feet through local malls and zipping all over town to find the perfect gifts.

But why do I wait so late? Is it work? Lifestyle? Reaction? Perhaps some of each. Perhaps mostly the latter.

I recall visiting a Pier 1 Imports in North Georgia in late September (three months before Christmas, mind you) only to find Christmas merchandise squeezing onto the floor – just in case you needed that wooded reindeer door stop really early. Christmas. September. The mind reels.

My local mall even brought out Santa's trappings (faux house, faux snow, winding queue) the week following Halloween. To be fair, Santa was the last decor added. Most of the mall was holiday festive, visual and audio, before October 31.

I wonder if my late-term holiday shopping might be a direct result of such an over abundance, and premature display, of holiday themes. After all, how much can we cherish and enjoy this brief festive season – which most of us really only appreciate for a few days or a long weekend – when it runs two or three months long?

Is an inner Scrooge peering out from beneath my Christmas sweater? Are those brave department store interior designers and lawn art enthusiasts bringing something joyous and positive that my critical and bitter perspective distorts?

But when is too early?

Is Thanksgiving, that traditional carte-blanche date for holiday decor and marketing, too much to ask? Can we not at least get the trytophan into our systems before Starbucks ramps up the Bing Crosby remixes over our snowflake latte?

Perhaps it is. Perhaps the Thanksgiving deadline is as antiquated as the Red Rider pellet gun or a partridge in a pear Tree (clever rhetorical tie-in, eh?).

Either way, the lights don't go up at Cloudjammer offices until the leaves outside change color. And, until further notice, mall Santas at large before turkey day had better keep their eyes open for three interactive designers with a reindeer door stop. fb

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