I had two conversations with really smart, wonderful people yesterday, both of whom said "I hate Christmas". I was somewhat shocked by this--hating Christmas is like hating cuddly puppies and kittens or wanting to kill baby ducklings--but I also understood what they meant.
I don't HATE Christmas, but I am sick and tired of the endless commercials that begin in October, telling us that the perfect gift will buy us the love of our families and friends. I am sick and tired of the multitude of mangled Christmas carols that seem to be playing everywhere I go. (Seriously, we really do not need a reggae-jazz-hip-hop fusion version of O Holy Night!) I am sick and tired of the family tensions that everyone seems to experience this time of year (If you don't show up for Christmas dinner, everything will be ruined, and it will be your fault!) I am sick and tired of Christmas already, and it is only November.
For me, Christmas officially jumped the shark on October 29. While the menfolk of the Boyd homestead were outside setting up our Halloween haunt, I was channel surfing inside and I came across a commercial. In a deliberately poorly-set shot, an older gentleman dressed in an ill-fitting Spandex elf costume was prancing around and chanting in heavily-accented English: Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarreah! Then the cheap Chyron effect of holly leaves and the message: Season's Greetings from Pepto-Bismol! WHAT???
Where do I even begin to list the things that were wrong with this picture? The annoying "audition" campaign that Pepto-Bismol has been running for some time now, apparently shot in some former Soviet Republic on 1980's vintage equipment? The eyeball-scarring image of this poor man in that elf suit? The timing of the airing of this atrocity--almost two full months before the "big day"? Or that someone at Pepto-Bismols corporate headquarters even felt that we wanted season's greetings from an elf singing about diarreah?
And then people wonder why their friends say "I hate Christmas"...