Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas in... November?

At first I thought it was just my imagination. Christmas seemed to be popping up earlier and earlier each year.

But now... I have proof.

Other than the fact that Black Friday sales have been going on since November 1st (which is really a contradiction, since Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and therefore the only day on which there can be Black Friday sales is, in fact, that day.). Stores are already advertising their Black Friday hours. Christmas trees went up at JC Penney BEFORE Halloween. Absolute craziness. Can we not enjoy each holiday as it comes, without mass harassment from retailers?

In addition to retail stores going Christmas-Crazy early, T.V. stations are now doing the same. ABC Family, one of my favorite channels for holidays because of their "25 Days of Christmas" series, is now beginning in NOVEMBER. I'm pretty sure "25 Days" means it should begin December 1st.

At this rate, in 10 years Christmas ads will begin, quite literally, in July.

I love Christmas. But like most things, Christmas (and other winter holidays) should be celebrated in the month in which they occur. I understand beginning Christmas tidings the day after Thanksgiving. But by extending celebrations each year,  Christmas is growing LESS scarce. And as all economists know, scarcity creates value. Therefore, retailers are devaluing Christmas. Shame, shame shame.

The more important matter is that retailers are trivializing winter holidays by pressuring consumers to purchase more items and sooner than they did last year. Perhaps the heads of each major retail company should watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and be reminded that decorations, gifts, plays, etc etc are not what Christmas/ holidays are really about. Whether one is religious or not, at the very least Christmas is about spending time with those you love and creating memories to reminisce about for years to come, when you're missing those people. How many gifts are under the tree, how new your tablecloth is, what kind of food you have... it's all irrelevant. Holiday time is a time to appreciate your friends and family. Sadly, for retailers, there is no price tag for that.

And yet, I'm writing about Christmas the second week in November. Ironic? Yes. Necessary? Definitely.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Truth About Disney

Many people know Disney is near and dear to my heart. Many people often mock this, citing "Happily Ever After" as unrealistic and me along with it. But the people who write off Disney at face value should really take a deeper look.

Disney may sometimes end with "Happily Ever After", but that's rarely a theme throughout. There's always some great loss felt with much heartache before the protagonist can move along. The important role Disney plays in our lives and that of children and people of all ages is to prepare them for life. We will all face losses, some will hurt more than others. But when it comes down to it, there's always something to live for. Life moves on, gets better. Where one person may brush us off as not good enough or anything else, someone else will come along who appreciates you and treats you with the love and kindness befitting a prince (or princess...depending on who you are).

Some may disregard the messages portrayed in Disney films, but that speaks more of themselves than of Disney. They may not see "The Lion King" as a portrayal of boy running from his problems, distancing himself from his family, when really they needed him more than ever. It may sound silly, but "The Lion King" taught me to face problems instead of running away. "The Little Mermaid" taught me to think for myself, instead of simply believing everything those around me believed. "Beauty and the Beast" told me being a bookworm was not only okay, but would benefit me. Disney films tackle social, racial and ethical issues in a way that makes sense to children and adults alike, and provides an interesting story always told in a beautiful way.

And really, what's so bad about happily ever after?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Living in the Dark Ages

The fear of getting too close is not unfamiliar to me. Depending too much on anything is dangerous, as it can be suddenly and shockingly removed. And I'm left here, alone, with symptoms of withdrawal and not knowing how to go back to the way life was before it entered my life.

My fear has come true.

My central form of organization for life, my iPod touch, has broken. An empty white screen stared back at me for a day until I gave up hope of a revival as sudden as its demise. I did what any concerned loved one would do. I called Apple.

I had to speak with two people at Apple. The first guy, bless his heart, spent five minutes on the phone with me while my computer took its sweet time opening iTunes. After being thoroughly embarrassed by my computers' lack of reaction, he suggested I try restarting it. I said I'd call back.

After remedying the computer, I got the serial number of my iPod and had Apple call me. They're paying to have my iPod shipped to them, where they will repair it for free (or so they told me), and then ship it back to me. In the meantime, my entire schedule is up in the air. I stored my schedule, all four of my e-mail accounts and various other items in my iPod. So I feel like my life has been turned upside down.

I never planned on becoming so attached to a piece of technology. But my entire day is in sync with my iPod. My music, my calendar, my e-mail, my blog reading, my e-books, my games, my house searching app.... I have to do without all of this for a week.

Which basically means I'll respond to your e-mails after next Wednesday, when I'm told I'll have my life back. Until then, I feel like I'm living in the dark ages.