I am sooooo old that I can remember when Christmas was fun. The Christmas season was the span of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and lasted through New Year’s Day. Getting ready for the holidays meant getting out the sewing machine, the knitting needles and the baking pans. When I was a child the knowledge that there were things for me hidden under wrapping paper was all I needed to stay wound up with excitement. It didn’t matter that what was concealed was apt to be common place. There were no credit cards then so there were limits on what one could ask for and expect to get.
When I had children of my own I would see the disappointment on their faces as they compared what they got with what their friends received. We steadfastly lived within our means, which were humble. We hadn’t caught on to how the world was changing around us.
It was when I owned and operated a Sears Catalog and Appliance Store that my eyes were really opened. So many parents came in to order last minute items for their children because they overheard him mention, to yet another Santa, something that they hadn’t already bought. A child must never be disappointed and Santa must never fail. That was many years ago. Sears’ Christmas Wish Book is only a collector’s item these days.
I refer to the long shopping season, starting before Halloween, as Hallo-Wish-Mas. If I were artistic I would design a character to represent this season with a Santa Claus body, a Jack O’ Lantern head, a cornucopia of food under one arm and the other arm holding the reins attached to a turkey harnessed to a big red sleigh.