I haven't been updating my blog as often as I used to. I've decided that, like Maris Crane, I exhaust easily under the pressure to be interesting. Also, I've been spending more time looking at baby pygmy hippo videos and less time writing.
Today is the 8th of November, which means that tomorrow might as well be Christmas. I say this because I've been hearing Christmas music in almost every store I've been in this past week. Some stores didn't even wait for Halloween to be over - Wal-Mart was playing "Little Saint Nick" while I was shopping for Halloween candy a few days before my birthday. Christmas merchandise was fighting Halloween costumes for shelf space, which puzzled me a bit since it was more than two months until Christmas.
I think it starts earlier and earlier every year. Christmas didn't used to start until after Thanksgiving. Then it was after Halloween. Now it's before Halloween. I expect that in a few years, Wal-Mart will stock prelit trees next to their back-to-school supplies. Which is frightening, since school starts earlier and earlier every year. I'm pretty sure that Chandler schools went back at the end of July.
But just because we're pushing holidays up a little, doesn't mean we want to miss any. So I'm sure that by December first, Wal-Mart will have an aisle or two of hearts and flowers for Valentine's Day. And once the Christmas clearance is out of the way in a month (because it gets marked down BEFORE Christmas these days) it'll be time for Easter baskets and chocolate rabbits. Once Valentine's day is gone, they'll display folding chairs and barbecues. And from there, it's time for back-to-school and Santa Claus.
I'm sure that, if I ran a urine-scented retail giant like Wal-Mart, it might make sense to me. But I'm a fairly logical human being, and so I like a day or two to breathe in between holidays. I don't want Halloween to turn into Christmas. I don't want Christmas to twitch its nose and turn into Valentine's Day. I like a week or two where I can buy bags of candy in regular-colored wrappers and not worry about whose house I'm going to or if I've bought a gift for someone.
But back to Christmas ... it's my fault, partly, for living in the greater Phoenix area. But I'm going into clothing stores, and it's all wool and parkas and corduroy. Which is, I'm sure, nice if one happens to live in New York or Illinois or one of those places where the seasons actually change. But here in Maricopa County, we have two seasons: Hellfire, and the rest of the year. And the rest of the year just isn't that cold.
Aside from which, it's hard to feel Christmassy when I'm still mowing the lawn and watching oranges ripen on my tree. It feels more back-to-schooly. So every time I hear "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," I sing along with my own words, about how it's beginning to look a lot like August does in the rest of the country.
But what can I do? Wal-Mart's blaring their Christmas soundtrack and Old Navy's got one table of t-shirts. So I bring my iPod with me, crank the A/C, and laugh at the poor suckers elsewhere who are already getting snow.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go water my roses. In short sleeves and flip flops.