I let it pass.
Christmas sections started showing up in the Halloween catalogs, which hit the mailbox a few weeks before Labor Day.
I let it pass again.
And last week I got my first full-fledged Christmas catalogs, with Santa on the cover, on a day when people were still picking out their Halloween pumpkins.
And I let that pass, too. I might even have shrugged and said, “So what?”
To tell you the truth, I’m a little surprised at myself.
Most years I am up in arms over this. I usually get infuriated – OK, well, highly peeved – when companies try to rush us into Christmas a full season ahead of schedule. Usually I write at least one piece, if not two or three, about how people are in such a hurry to get to Christmas that they turn Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) into an also-ran. I have even been known to make snide remarks to assistant store managers in charge of putting out the Christmas items while the back-to-school stuff is still on display. I know. Me. Making snide remarks. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
But anyway … this year I am letting all of that go.
Couple of reasons, actually.
First, the realization that I can’t do anything about it – the race is run, the contest is over, the game is finished, and common sense has lost. Christmas season now starts in September, and there’s nothing to be done.
Knowing this leads to the realization that it’s stupid to be angry over something you have no chance of reversing.
And that, in turn, makes me see that as I have aged ... no, wait. Don’t like that word. Let me start again. As I have matured ... no, that’s certainly not it. Let me take one more run at it. As I have wised up (a little) I have come to realize how much time I have wasted being angry over things that were completely out of my control. I cheated myself out of a lot of potential happiness because I was too busy being angry over stupid stuff.
What a moron I have been. Just think of what I might have accomplished with all the energy I wasted on yelling about the early delivery of Christmas catalogs.
OK, not that much. But I feel pretty safe in saying I would have been a lot less annoying to the people around me who didn’t share my feelings of high dudgeon over catalog scheduling. And think of the energy THEY would have saved by not having to roll their eyes every time I went off on one of my rants.
I now, officially, accept the fact that Christmas catalogs are coming earlier and earlier. “The best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain,” said Longfellow.
So let it rain Christmas catalogs on my mailbox. Let them come before the trick-or-treaters. Doesn’t mean I have to look at them.
Although I probably will. I just won’t do any ordering. Well, maybe a little.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.