Delayed Gratification—A Thing of the Past?

During a heat wave in August, I was in a shopping mall. As I looked around, I became aware of a familiar tune playing in the store. I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized that the song was “*Let It Snow!”

Really? In August?!

Do you remember as a kid, how long it seemed to be until Christmas? Even at Thanksgiving, it felt like Christmas would never come. And now, it’s breathing down our necks in the summer. You can call it commercialism or just me getting older, but doesn’t that seem a little too soon?

Then in September we see and hear all the Halloween stuff, and all the movies on TV are the traditional scary ones. The hot minute Halloween is over, there are some brief nods to Thanksgiving, but mainly it is full-blown Christmas season everywhere.

I get it; if you’re in business to sell things, you’ve got to be in on point, in-your-face, full-on sell mode to make the profit margins. Business is, after all, business. Which reminds me of **Stan Freberg’s wry song, “Green Christmas:”

“CHORUS: Deck the halls with advertising,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
‘Tis the time for merchandising,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Profit never needs a reason,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
Get the money, it’s the season,
Fa la la la la la la la la.”

But oh, how I miss the long drawn-out approach to the holidays, the anticipation, the thought of having a house full of family and friends, the special “holiday only” treats, and all that goes with the holidays. During this time of year I like to think of holidays past, watch my traditional ***holiday movies and just take my time about it all.

This year, no matter how many commercials I hear, how crowded the stores get, or how pushy folks get in the shopping malls, I’m going to slow myself down and just enjoy the progress of the season and the holidays, remember all the good times and look forward to what is to come.

 *”Let It Snow!” by lyricist Sammy Cahn and the composer Jule Styne in 1945.

**Stan Freberg (born Stanley Friberg; August 7, 1926 – April 7, 2015) was an American author, recording artist, voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, whose career began in 1944. He remained active in the industry into his late 80s, more than 70 years after entering it.

***”The Walton Family Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Carol” (but only the one starring the fabulous Alastair Sim as the best Scrooge ever), “A Christmas Story,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Love Actually,” and “White Christmas,” to name a few.

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