Ready or not, Christmas is here

Published 1:56 am Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, I read a newly-released study that said most consumers would prefer that retailers not decorate their stores for Christmas, or play holiday music until after Thanksgiving.

For the record, I wasn’t asked to participate in this poll, but I sure like the results.

I blinked and almost missed summer. I don’t know how we could be bidding farewell to October when it seems as if it just began. I certainly don’t want to miss Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday the whole year long, so it’d be just fine with me if we could concentrate on being thankful as soon as we finish passing out the Halloween candy.

Someone once explained the notion that time seems to pass more quickly as we age in this way. When you are 4 and waiting for Christmas, a year represents 25 percent of your whole life. When you are past 40, a year represents about 2 percent of your life so far; at 60, a year is 1.6 percent of your life.

In other words, it’s all relative.

Decades ago, back when a year was a really long time, I was as excited as any other kid when the Sears and Roebuck Wishbook arrived in the late fall, and I’d get to work on my Christmas wish list right away. These days, my list is remarkably short; I’d just as soon skip the gifts that glitzy holiday threatening to overtake my holiday brings.

Despite the fact that in at least one study, consumers agree with me, the Christmas creep is upon us.

Wal-Mart began its layaway push a month earlier this year than last. The company told analysts at an investor meeting this week that it has lined up $400 million in U.S. layaway sales in less than a month. Toys ‘R Us has rebranded layaway as a “hot toy reservation” program, allowing shoppers to reserve any of the 50 toys on its hot toy list by putting down a 20 percent down payment by Halloween.

Shop your hearts out, y’all. Stimulate the economy and make my friends in retail real successful. That way, I’ll won’t feel guilty.

Because I’m planning to soak up some of the sunshine I missed this summer; savor the next few weeks of football season; and endeavor to be just as dang thankful as I can all the way through Thanksgiving.

Christmas lights, wrapping paper, seasonal music, and two children’s wish lists can wait. I need to make Thanksgiving last this tiny percentage of a lifetime before that percentage gets any smaller.