Stafford: Christmas season should wait its turn


It’s a wonder to me that his wife puts up with it.

He’s been doing the same thing at the same time of year for so many years that news of it tends to go in one ear and out the other, and I tend to notice it only if it dislodges a little earwax.

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But as I stood in the grocery the week before last, transferring the store brand Grape Nuts from the shelf to my basket, the words over the store loudspeakers shocked me.

There was no disturbance in the meat department, nor were we being instructed to shelter in place in frozen foods. It was word that yet another child had seen his or her mother kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe.

The news, of course, wasn’t that Santa had been acting like Bill Clinton again.

It was only the timing of the announcement that shocked me.

As a guy next to me in the aisle put it: “It’s not even Thanksgiving.”

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At the time, it wasn’t even Election Day and I still had a pile of leftover candy from Halloween.

Clearly, Santa – famous for teaching kids about delayed gratification by warning them to neither pout nor shout nor cry before he comes to town – has lost all decency and self-control.

Either that or he’s the beneficiary of an offshore money laundering scheme from a retailing association.

Because who else wants to extend the season for a commercialized Christmas?

I can understand the need to extend deer season.

Someone has to cull the population of animals that may interfere with herds of shoppers headed for door buster sales. I mean, who wants to get a bargain TV only to have it trashed by a buck that breaks in the side door of your minivan on the way home?

Extending voting season?

At first, I was iffy. But I can see the benefit for older people, those with limited mobility and the many who work crazy schedules. In the end, the more the merrier.

But Christmas shopping season?

To me, it’s like wishing for a longer hurricane season so people who having trouble naming their babies can review more candidates.

Or extending this year’s Bengals and Browns games by another quarter for aesthetic – or any other reasons.

Or maybe finishing a difficult round of chemotherapy and returning to the treatment center the next day and saying, “Yeah, give me some more of that. I’ve never really cared for my hair color.”

As Ecclesiastes says, “To everything, there is a season.”

And that season has not yet arrived.



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