I'll Be Home for Christmas, If Only on October 2
It began on October 2. I walked into Pier 1 Imports at 7 p.m. and left at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. About 15 other employees and I were there to start phase one (of three) for Christmas set-up. I had volunteered immediately for this shift. When our boss put on Christmas music while we were opening boxes, many of my coworkers groaned, but I started singing along and by the end of the night so was everyone else.
I know many people who work in retail get sick of Christmas by the time it rolls around, but I think they’re missing the point. Christmas starting earlier doesn’t make it any less special. It gives us time to clear a space in the attic for everything we’ll be replacing with decorations and, above all, it gives us more time to buy.
This year especially, Christmas brings hope to a nation that’s crying out for a savior. Our economy’s suffering and, while it may sound crazy, buying candles shaped like Christmas trees and manger scenes equipped with plastic baby Jesuses could help improve our situation. This is one of those times when you’ve got to spend money to make money.
Many customers complain about the sickly sweet feeling they get in their stomachs upon entering Pier 1 anytime between October and mid-January, since it’s doused in ornament glitter and the smell of our holiday evergreen fragrance. But I think that without the joy and chaos of the Christmas season, we’d be depressed for most of the winter. Come December, I only listen to the same Christmas carols repeatedly and I watch children walk around with candy canes glued to their mouths. Without all the familiar hustle and bustle, there would be a hole in our lives that could never be filled by any Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
Christmas is the greatest holiday and the frenzy should begin earlier — preferably in October. It’s the month when the temperature cools and people begin wanting nothing but to get cozy with their loved ones. This good mood might blind them from seeing how much money they’re spending, of course. One minute they’d be in the Christmas aisle at Target and the next their houses would look like Santa’s workshop, their lawns filled with inflatable snowmen. But the holiday is worth a lighter wallet — it’s not like you’ll never use this stuff again.
Some people get annoyed because they say retailers let Christmas overshadow Halloween and Thanksgiving and don’t give us enough breathing room. However, with all the candy and massive amounts of food consumed during those lesser holidays, we’ll all gain at least five pounds that we, an increasingly obese nation, could honestly do without.
The Christmas spirit is contagious, and each year retailers spare no expense to be sure that we all catch the bug. John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” has one of the greatest messages mankind can hear, and it’s most effective around Christmas time. The warm feeling, the family togetherness, and the beauty of it all lures us into a false — albeit lovely — sense of security. Our wallets are taken advantage of when we are at our most vulnerable. There’s a reason why they call it “the most wonderful time of the year.”