Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Spirit of Christmas

When I was little, Christmas was a magical time. No school, the Christmas tree lit in front of the window, presents underneath, the one & only Christmas album we had playing on the stereo. It was fun. It was always a given that Dad would be off work because the theatre would be closed. We would either go to Grand Junction to have Christmas with our family or have friends and family over to our house. Derek & I would be up at or before daybreak to see what Santa left us. There was no Christmas music played on radio stations until after Thanksgiving - the same with the ads on TV. But now...

TELEVISION ADS: Commercials hawking their products for Christmas seem to be starting earlier every year. This year there were ads before Thanksgiving! It's hard to get in the mood for Christmas shopping before you've had your turkey. And they're all for either cars or jewelry! Or toys. Toys, toys, toys!

SHOPPING: And then there's Black Friday. I've been unlucky enough to have experienced Black Friday firsthand and I'll never do it again. Sure, the sales might be good but dealing with surly clerks who had to be there at 4am to open the store at 5am and the shoppers who don't care if they trample your ass as long as they get their Playstation 3!

CHRISTMAS MUSIC: I like Christmas music but I can only take so much of it. We have a local radio station that starts playing Christmas music 24/7 on Thanksgiving and continues to do so until January 2nd! Seriously, how many times can I hear "Feliz Navidad" before I have to beat my head against a wall? When I was little, it was a treat to hear "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" or "Jingle Bells" on the radio. When I worked at the radio station, we were only allowed to play one an hour and I thought that was perfect. The closer it got to Christmas, we'd move up to 2 an hour.

WORKING: Thanksgiving & Christmas used to be all about family. Businesses would close and people would be with their loved ones. No more. Thanksgiving is a prime shopping day for those who don't want to go out on Black Friday so more & more stores are staying open. We had our turkey dinner late this year because Mom had to work! And where I work - it's a 24/7/365 kind of business. Holiday or not, if it's your scheduled day, you will be here unless you're lucky enough to get your day-off request in early enough. This year we were informed by our new VP that the whole plant would shut down for Dec 24th & 25th. Yay!! For a month we were all happy. Then yesterday we were informed that we have so much product only our area won't close. I got the time off but that's not fair for those people who didn't. Now they're stuck here when they were promised the time off! It's all about the money.

Christmas has become too commercial. It's been that way for years but this year it seems worse. My Christmas spirit is being drowned - I don't think many people remember what Christmas is about anymore. It should be about family, friends, caring & sharing.

And time off from work!


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