Aug. 1, 2017 is a day that will live on in infamy. That’s the day commercialism broke me. That’s the day the Halloween decorations went up at Lowe’s. I am undone. We have lost America. Norman Rockwell is rolling over in his oil-canvased grave. I don’t care about the national debt, term limits, or international terror; we simply must do whatever it takes to once again celebrate the holidays in order.
It all started innocently enough. Christmas in July was a fun-natured way of celebrating the calendar year’s halfway point to decking our halls. However, we as Americans cannot stand to be outdone, and one of the ways that manifests itself is in the incessant need to be first. First in freedom. First in military might. First in sports. And now, first to get the holiday decorations up.
You see, nothing says, “We’re the best neighbor in the cul-de-sac” better than having holiday decorations up first. It has become the ultimate status symbol. It’s even more impressive than little first-grader Suzy speaking Mandarin and earning her black belt. Or, even more extraordinary than having your trash out two days early (and waiting on the truck so you can put the can back before anyone sees you). Immediately, you have the upper hand on every other neighbor. It’s the unspoken “bless your heart” middle finger to the rest of suburbia.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the holidays. I absolutely love Christmas. I’m the grown man crying like a baby every time It’s A Wonderful Life comes on. “Don’t hit the bad ear, Mr. Gower…” Sniff! I generally love a good reason for a picnic or party as much as the next guy, but I simply must draw the line at being forced to look at Thanksgiving cornucopias before Labor Day.
It’s easy to blame the retailers, but they are just catering to consumer demand. My research shows this may be the work of Big Pharma. Think about it. The average mom comes home from picking up Johnny at soccer practice only to find out that the Griswolds have moved in down the street. The decorations are up. You’re late! You’re missing it. You don’t measure up. People will talk. The pressure is unbearable. Hot yoga isn’t cutting it; neither are the martinis. Better get a little help from the doctor in the form of a prescription to take the edge off. “Mommy is having a bad day!” All because someone put out 12 plastic reindeer on their lawn.
You know who doesn’t need therapy? The nice folks in the trailer who leave the decorations up all year. Turns out they had it right all along!