Tis the season?

First Christmas catalog arrival date for 2013 - July 5

First Christmas catalog arrival date for 2013 – July 5

At the risk of being accused of having an idle mind, let tell you that over the last few years, I have tracked the arrival date of the first Christmas catalogs.  It was the end of July in 2010, and over the next two years, the trend seemed to reverse – no Santa’s in the mail until August.  This year we’ve hit a new low.  The first one, inviting me to “Celebrate life’s special moments,” was delivered July 5, with two more arriving the next day.

Here I am, just beginning to mourn the beginning of shorter days as a new threat looms on the horizon – if “the most wonderful time of the year” can almost breach the Independence Day bulwark, can “holiday music” be far behind?  Are you ready for “Little Saint Nick” in the stores in September?  Note to self – carry earbuds everywhere!

Every year it seems I come to a greater appreciation of the pre-repentant, “Humbug” Ebenezer.

And when the days grow short and the weather turns cold, I’ll be singing along with Joni Mitchell – “Wish I had a river I could skate away on.”

12 thoughts on “Tis the season?

    • The pleasures of the season, spiritual and social, are very personal, and while I don’t begrudge the stores or the Christmas tree sellers, etc., the chance to make a living, when the commercialism is blatant, it becomes a turnoff.
      Plus, last year, it really struck me that by the time December rolled around, a lot of people seemed worn out – angry/aggressive in parking lots and stores. Not really the season of peace…
      So I really try to avoid that mindset, and that’s what I was reacting to – being reminded of it in July seems a bit much!


  1. Amazing and truly depressing. I remember the good old days when nothing Christmas related happened until after Thanksgiving. I am that old. I sure wish it were that way again.


    • I’m that old too. I recall one time my parents took me and my sister to downtown Poughkeepsie the day after Thanksgiving to watch Santa land in a helicopter – traditional, in other words…


  2. And this is exactly why I’m starting to hate Christmas more and more every year. I don’t celebrate anything of the religious aspect of the holiday (if you can say there even is a religious side anymore) and I get frustrated and annoyed with how commercially focused everyone is for the holiday.

    When they start sending out catalogs in July, and start playing Christmas music in September, it’s way too easy to get completely burned out by the holiday. I suppose they could say that they’re going for the whole “Christmas in July” idea, but that doesn’t work quite as well when there isn’t a break between “Christmas in July” and “Actual Christmas.”


    • Every winter I find myself revisiting the history of the Christmas holiday, and will no doubt do it again this year. It has a checkered past, from a huge drunken blowout, courtesy of Richard II, where hundreds of animals were slaughtered, to Boston, which banned it for a time, to more drunken revelry in early 19th c. America. The holiday as we know it was a largely commercial creation, ca. 1840. I dislike it more and more each year too.


  3. Interesting, but at the same time dispiriting. And the whole Santa thing is just so much humbug (there, I’ve said it). I particularly disliked the fact that two of the three catalogue items you illustrate presume to tell me that I’ll find them ‘delightful’, when I actually find them nauseating.

    Anyway, heartiest commiserations that you’ve been subjected to this assault. Where America leads can Britain be far behind?


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