Dietmar Rabich/Wikimedia Commons
If you know anything about the cyclicality of sales, then you know that retailers spend the entire year prepping for the exact minute — no, second — that it becomes November. It’s a fact that online shopping increases exponentially during the months of November to January due to one factor: holiday spirit disguised as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and the playlists of music that probably serve to brainwash you into treating yourself with that fifteenth pair of new socks.
The true irony of the holiday season is being forcibly fed music that exudes positivity and parable into a three-minute earworm while grudgingly forking over money to buy an outfit that will wind up covered in food by the cousins you forgot you had. Yet, every year on November 1, we consumers march down to the local mall, brave through the droning of uni-chorded music, and do it all over again. I now own thirty pairs of socks as self-congratulatory presents.
It’s easy to ridicule the commercialization of holidays, but it gets easier when you spot the cache of advent calendars lining the aisles of Trader Joes in the first week of November. It’s almost like Thanksgiving doesn’t exist. It’s almost like Pumpkin Spice Latte season didn’t happen. In the blink of an eye, every Halloween pop-up store vanished, racing to leave town before the arrival of the invasive Christmas season. How quickly that transition happened may be the scariest part.
Trees have been strung, empty cardboard boxes have been wrapped, and the children have popped “Frosty the Snowman” in the VCR as the adults watch on, mouthing every line. Part-time Santas dust off their boots and unsuspecting children dictate their wish lists to their parents who, in the meantime, prepare their jackets, boots, coats. Another shopping trip ensues. Mariah Carey endures. The tradition has been passed on.
In the spirit of holiday camaraderie, even people who don’t have a strong inclination towards the month of December are represented as a beloved character: the Grinch. If after reliving memories of teetering, not up-to-code gingerbread houses you no longer have an affinity for the pervasive holiday, you, the Grinch, can be admonished by your holiday-loving peers. Unlike the Grinch, however, in this real-life Whoville, instead of being convinced to love the holidays, expect to put on an Oscar-worthy show or risk being Vibe Checked by Mariah Carey herself.
Now that November is upon us, even the most hardened holiday veterans must cherish the treasured memories of collective shoppers’ exhaustion and sugar comas. The Holidays happen once a year, and before you know it, you’ll be destringing the trees, recycling the remnants of wrapping paper, and throwing your tacky Christmas sweater into oblivion until next year. But before you fret over the loss of your favorite commercial season, Valentines’ Day is just around the corner with enough chocolate to make you forget about any of your Christmas woes.