Friday, November 6, 2009

Publix Has Hung Their Giant Wreaths, So I Guess Christ Is Born, Everybody

I know it's like a thing to be all like, "Wah! Stores stock holiday stuff earlier every year! Why can't we go back to the days when all we wanted for Christmas was a corncob doll and a shiny penny?" I know. Like we're all just pining for homespun authenticity and slow time, which we could have if it weren't for all this shopping! But somebody's gotta do it! And get your hands off that Spode Christmas ladle or I will end you.

So it's a thing. But seriously, I noticed today that my Publix has bedecked itself with huge evergreen wreaths, and hung tinsel candle things from all the lights in the parking lot. Inside there are more swags and furbelows over the display cases. What with Halloween stuff appearing as soon as back-to-school is out of the way, and then Christmas things right at the stroke of 12 on Halloween night, and then Valentine's Day is everywhere on January 1, which will cede shelf space to Easter on February 15, I'm starting to feel a little whipped from pillar to post. Like we're on a forced march. I know we don't have to buy what they're selling, but there is a way that seeing all that stuff in every store seeps into your consciousness and makes you think you're insufficiently festive if you're not feeling their calendar. Their tail is wagging my dog..

I would just like to stand up for November, and for Thanksgiving, which seems to have no presence in our mass retail culture, which I fear will cause it to lose ground in our shared emotional culture. Thanksgiving has always been destined to lose to Halloween and Christmas, because it's not really monetizable. People don't buy things for Thanksgiving, except food and maybe plane tickets. It also sells magazines, I guess. (Sidebar: the other night Matt said, "The dog vomited at the top of the stairs. It was bad. I had to use the Martha Stewart Living to clean it up. I thought that was funny." I said, "But I hadn't read that one yet!" And he said, "I think you could still go fish it out of the trash." Hmmph. So now I'll never know what all Martha is going to do with pomegranate seeds this month.) So it's not that I want stores to come up with a whole bunch of Turkey merchandise to sell us. I would just like for them to wait a mo' with the outdoor decorations. I want to take a breath and enjoy November for what it is.

Publix redeemed itself for me tonight, because I ran in there to get Matt some popcorn, and there were coupons hanging on some of the bottles of Perrier. Now, last year, in the summer of '08, those of us who were hard core couponnieres had a nice little Perrier racket going. Publix had $1 off Perrier coupons on the shelves, which you could take across the street to CVS, where if you bought two bottles of Perrier (for a dollar each) you got $1 in CVS Extracare Bucks. You could lather, rinse, and repeat that deal as much as you wanted, if I recall. I do remember that I practically bathed in the stuff and I loved it. So right now, the big bottles of Perrier, which are $1.59 at my store, have 55 cent coupons hanging on the necks. It's only the pink grapefruit variety. A dollar for the big bottle seemed reasonable to me, so I struck hard. Check your Publix if you're needing a classier chug-a-lug. And Joyeux Noël!


Amy said...

Well, all *I* want for Christmas is a bright glass bead and an orange that Pa bought at the Mercantile.

I feel you on Thanksgiving--it's like its the last un-messed with holiday. Imagine it here, though--because Halloween isn't really a thing and Thanksgiving isn't done, Christmas decorations have been up at the malls for about a month already. 'Tis the season!

David said...

I, too, feel you on Thanksgiving, dude. The other day, I had to go to Union Square and (ugh!) the mall, and I said out loud to myself, like a crazy person, "C'mon man: what about Thanksgiving?" as I emerged from the Metro into the late-October Christmas shitstorm.

November's a fantastic month, and I feel like we're not supposed to have it anymore. I think it's even worse this year.... Probably another effect of the recession?

The Dental Maven said...

As much as Thanksgiving is a BIG American Holiday - it's just not a retail event. If there's no financial return in advertising it, well, no one's gonna spend money or time on it. Sad. :(

Veronica said...

Yes, I am especially weirded out by it this year because my baby is due on Christmas Day, so I can tell you that Christmas Day is exactly 7 weeks from yesterday. To me, that feels like an utter eternity. Like, I am barely convinced that we will EVER get there.

On another note, the way I have been seeing marketing popping up around Thanksgiving is these "every weekend in November we're having a Black Friday sale" ads... have you seen these? I think that's a major sign of the recession--like, get 'em excited about Christmas and then put stuff on sale all November in case people don't actually shop on Black Friday.

danajk said...

I am so with you, too. At the commissary yesterday, an entire row of seasonal candy had turned from orange and black to red and green. No more candy!

I miss being close to Publix, though. They may put up their wreaths too soon, but they do have the cutest Thanksgiving commercials. Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers anyone?

Becky said...

I do think it's a little more intense this year, David. And good point on the Black Friday expansion, V. Black Friday is a whole post in itself. Was it last year that the person got trampled to death at the Walmart?

V, I should have titled this post, "Publix Has Hung Their Giant Wreaths, So V's Baby Is Born." Woohoo!

Dana, I kid you not but I have some Pilgrim S&P shakers! Or I think they're pilgrims. They may be little Dutch people. Maybe I'll post a pic and we can decide.

Keely said...

Thanksgiving shows up even before Hallowe'en here, so it's *really* not a big deal. But the stores were putting Christmas stuff out for Thanksgiving, I am not kidding. I love me some festive decorations and some flagrant shopping but THAT is way too soon.

Sara said...

Amy, I want to give my kids glass beads and oranges for Christmas just to see the confused looks on their faces. And then I'll be all 'What? What's wrong?'

Back in the day, I worked at Target for a few months unloading the trucks of Targety goodness, including the pre-Christmas Targety goodness, and we had to listen to the same Christmas tunes over and over and over. But it was still better than listening to Mambo No.5 over and over again.

I enjoy November, too. It seems like an unsullied, more dignified month for its lack of commercialization. Also I love turkey and pumpkin pie.

dog puke on a martha stewart mag....lalalalaaa