The most disastrous time of the year

Story by Haley Zblewski, Currents Editor

When I walked into work on Nov. 5 and was greeted by Bing Crosby crooning “Happy Holidays,” I stopped dead in my tracks
Some days, working retail is just not the greatest. I don’t want to sound like I’m whining here, but sometimes doing your best to maintain a level of politeness while answering customers’ passive aggressive questions as you refold the table of t-shirts they just destroyed gets kind of, well, horrible.

Complement that with 51 straight days of almost non-stop Christmas music, and I’m about ready to break down in tears.
Everywhere I go, be it campus, work or even in logging onto Facebook, people are talking about how the holidays have arrived. But, really, the holidays aren’t here. Just the commercialization of it is.

‘But I love Christmas music and Christmas decorations!’ you might say. ‘It’s just a matter of getting us into the holiday spirit!’

No, no, no.

Here’s what it comes down to: We’re not in the best of economic times right now, and the latest economic crisis has caused people to become more frugal. Stores are playing Christmas songs and putting up neon Christmas trees earlier than ever before to get people in the mood to shop and buy presents not only sooner than normal, but for longer periods of time so stores can make money even as their shoppers plan to spend less.

Maybe I’ve idealized the Christmases I had when I was little because my family hasn’t bothered to get together to celebrate in years. But it seems to me that 14 or 15 years ago, there was a lot more focus on spending time with your family than making sure to get out to Target for Black Friday specials.

So when I walk into work on the fifth of freaking November and Raven Symone is singing about how her Christmas dream is that you put your hand in hers and let your lips caress her face as you walk through the snow (perks of working in a kid’s store, yo), I’m really not convinced that Christmas is all about the family anymore. And can we please just think for a minute about how those lyrics are considered child appropriate? Holy cow.

And let’s be real here, going to the mall and walking in and out of stores that are already playing Christmas music ALL DAY LONG gets kind of maddening.

All this build-up, all this pre-holiday spirit is just too much. By the time Christmas day arrives, I’m just happy to have it over with.