From our perspective: Lay off, fat man

Every year, it seems the holiday season starts a little earlier than the last.  Stores are stocked with Christmas decorations by Halloween and seasonal music can be heard before Thanksgiving.  Even the holiday shopping season kicked off earlier than usual.   We at Whim believe the holiday season needs to stay with its proper time of the year before it begins to lose its meaning and significance.

Photo from Cafemom.com.

Just a few weeks ago was the kickoff to the holiday shopping season known as Black Friday.  In the past, stores opening at 5AM on Friday morning were considered early.  Now many stores have begun opening their doors as early as 8PM on Thanksgiving night.  People were camped out in tents the day before Thanksgiving to be first in the door when it opened on Thanksgiving night.  Are the “deals” really worth missing Thanksgiving with your families?  Next year stores will open even earlier due to the successful turnout of this past Black Friday.

Another annoyance is when stores begin playing Christmas music before it is even Thanksgiving.  We should not have “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer” stuck in our heads in the middle of November.   By time December comes around we are already tired of most Christmas music.  We think that after Thanksgiving is an appropriate time for stores to start playing Christmas music.

Even worse than the early start of Christmas music is its abrupt disappearance from the airwaves on Boxing Day. Whatever happened to the twelve days of Christmas? Considering that most people have off work and school until after New Year’s Day, why can we no longer enjoy the yearly carols once we’ve opened our presents?

Lest we, as a staff, be accused of focusing too exclusively on a single holiday, we would also like to address the other festivities and non-religious of aspects of this “most wonderful time of the year.” While we do live in a culture that places a huge commercial and social emphasis on Christmas, the simple fact remains that Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and non-religious celebrations are just as worthy of consideration.

Though we are in full favor of recognizing and promoting diversity, however, is it really necessary to become instantly angry when somebody wishes you an innocent “Merry Christmas,” a fairly innocuous “happy holidays,” or even the perfectly ambiguous “season’s greetings?”  If the season really is about peace on earth and goodwill toward men (which we as a staff are certainly in favor of, regardless of individual differences in religious and holiday practices), does it make sense to look for offense in the simple greetings of another?

The holidays are a joyful, riotous, and even overwhelming time of year. We here at Whim are in firm favor of cutting back the craziness, transforming our favorite traditions, and celebrating the real spirit of the season. As you head home for winter break, we wish you all the happiness of your personal holiday — and we hope to see you back safe, sound, and ready for another RU adventure.