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Bah Humbug!
by Neena Louise

Every year, the holiday season gets longer and longer because advertisers want to get a "jump" on the competition and start hawking their goods earlier and earlier. This year has been the absolute worst. This year, toy advertisers started the hype in August, for crying out loud. Others barely controlled themselves until Hallowe'en and started with a vengeance on November 1st. Stores followed suit by having Hallowe'en decorations beside Christmas stuff. By the time Christmas finally rolls around, I'm not the only one who will be glad that's it's finally OVER, rather than enjoying it.

I used to like Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday season and for a tolerable month or so, we were surrounded by Christmas. This year, television didn't bother to even wait for Thanksgiving and it seems every single commercial (Sears and Walmart are the biggest offenders) since Hallowe'en is Christmas-themed - and will be for a total of 10 long weeks. Ten weeks! It's extremely depressing to be reminded the day after Hallowe'en that Christmas is coming and we really should be out shopping. The holidays are stressful enough for most people that they don't need to be reminded 10 weeks before that they're way behind in preparations. I blame rabid television sponsors for ruining Christmas. I don't like it anymore - it gets drawn out too long and, come November 1st when the television hype-o-rama starts, I just wish it was over already - if only to make all the irritating commercials go away.

Christmas means different things to different people, but I doubt thronging crowded malls is anything any sane person looks upon with peace and harmony. Sure, finding that perfect gift for the perfect person is satisfying, but what about people who don't celebrate Christmas? In the minority, to be sure, but those that don't have any sort of celebration this time of year must get good and sick of weeks and weeks of blathering television commercials that are supersaturated with Christmas.

To be fair, this is retail's busiest period, so it's understandable that they want to advertise. However, can we dispense with the irritating Christmas carols? The sappy lovey-dovey crap? The annoyingly enthusiastic shoppers? And, above all, can we wait until Thanksgiving at least??? All the television commercials this year seem to be grating and I have to wonder why there are no funny ones - or at least mildly amusing ones. I keep thinking of the hilarious Staples ad that had a dog wrapped in Christmas paper. Even though it was played over and over again during that holiday season, it never failed to make me smile. That particular ad was pulled after animal rights zealots complained about a dog being a present (puh-leeze), but should that mean no Christmas ad can be funny ever again? One would think advertisers would want to entertain rather than annoy, but, hey, maybe that's just me...
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