In keeping with tradition I’m re-posting a wonderful bit Chris wrote a few years back, but I’ll precede it with a quick “message from our sponsor”:
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Now, back to our regular programming….
In response to a perceived discourtesy, November’s holiday-spirit, simply referred to as “Thanks,” is sending December’s patron saint, Santa Claus, a bucket of coal for Christmas this year.
Disturbed by Santa’s increasing intrusion on the month of November, Thanks feels forgotten and rudely ignored. “It’s just so inconsiderate,” she said. “We used to share the parade with him, but now he’s coming with the full-color newspaper inserts, direct-mailings and television ads before the turkeys even reach the stores.”
Public concern over Santa’s expansion appears to be mixed. “I wish it was Christmas every day,” one seven-year-old boy confided.
Thanks, however, is convinced “St. Nicholas” has committed an egregious mistake. “That fat, old elf is finally going senile,” she said. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s confusing the kids.”
The facts suggest Claus did start the Christmas campaign earlier than usual this year. Toy catalogs began trickling into mailboxes almost as soon as the trees surrendered their leaves, and electronic solicitors began flooding email accounts just after the recent elections.
When questioned, Claus admitted to a misunderstanding, though he blamed it on the complexities of varying international customs. “I might have gotten a little mixed-up,” he confessed. “The Canadians have their thankful thingy in October, and the missus is always nagging me about needing to ‘check the list twice’ and everything, so I didn’t want to dawdle this year.”
Is it merely an accident, or instead, a growing trend? Ever since Kris Kringle endorsed “Black Friday” as the unofficial start to the Christmas season, retailers have been utilizing his likeness earlier and earlier to promote their sales.
“Santa is good business,” one store-manager concluded succinctly.
Statistical analysis indicates consumers, in turn, are beginning to shift their attentions to the Christmas season sooner than ever before.
“Thanksgiving?” one mother of four shrugged, “I’m thankful when my shopping’s done and all the presents are wrapped.”
In the U.S., Thanksgiving has legally controlled the fourth Thursday in November since December 26, 1941 (the day after Christmas). Traditionally, the holiday has occurred on this date since 1863, however a source close to the Ministry of Christmas contends, “Nobody has ever said anything about the following Friday, or any of the weeks prior, for that matter.”
This same source, in an exclusive interview, revealed that Santa is no longer solely in charge of the Ministry, and that he is most likely not the one responsible for the increased promotional effort. Tech-hungry consumer demands have allowed corporate retailers and manufacturers to muscle in on the North Pole’s operation.
“Kids don’t just want dollies, tin soldiers or BB guns anymore,” the source instructed, “they want an iTouch, an X-Box or a Nintendo DS. Who do you think makes those, the elves?”
For her part, Thanks is unwilling to let Kringle off the hook. Interviewed in a grocery store parking-lot, next to a row of leaning fir trees, she confirmed that she had heard the rumors but added, “Santa not in charge anymore? I simply won’t believe it.”
Regardless of who’s to blame, Thanksgiving has clearly been slighted, and the effects of this negligence have yet to be fully realized.
“I don’t mean to seem ungrateful,” Thanks explained. “Everybody loves Santa, especially the children, but I just think we need to stop and appreciate what we already have, before we begin asking for something new.”
When asked what she hoped to accomplish by her symbolic gesture, Thanks replied, “Gratitude should precede bounty in action and acknowledgment; it is the parent of all other virtues. Santa should understand.”