By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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Frowning Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus in their holiday mug shot.

I kind of wanted to punch Santa Claus.

Along with Mrs. Claus and the jolly elves flitting around the both of them as they sat on their Clausy thrones at the mall this past Saturday.

Yes, you read correctly: Santa and Mrs. Claus were at the mall on Saturday, November 8th, accepting the requests of tots brought to their red-trimmed knees by parents clearly unable to read a calendar.

IT’S NOVEMBER!!! And not November as in right after Thanksgiving November. It’s the second week of November!

I get that the crappy economy of the last thirty-seven years (or maybe it just seems that way) has everyone scrambling to make money while there’s some to be made, but COME ON! It’s November 11th for God’s sake!

Moving through Macy’s over the weekend, I couldn’t help but feel assaulted–by Christmas trees, Christmas carols, Christmas decorations and the mobs of shoppers who were clearly convinced that Christmas was mere days, instead of weeks, away. And instead of getting me in the mood to celebrate the season early, the entire experience had me muttering to myself like some modern-day, deranged version of Ebenezer Scrooge. I think if Tiny Tim had walked past me, I might have kicked his crutch.

Outside of the mall,  More FM, a local radio station, has been running a survey to let listeners decide when they should start their annual onslaught of all Christmas music all the time. You can even tell them which songs are your favorites, so they can play them until your ears bleed. That’s Christmas crap, er, tunes, 24/7. Here’s my vote for when to start: NEVER.

I used to love Christmas–when it was actually Christmas, that is. Now that the holiday has become a months-long extravaganza, I’m exhausted by the whole thing before December even rolls around.

I’m not sure there’s any solution, aside from hibernating until Thanksgiving is over, but how do you do that? Self-imposed exile, while tempting, isn’t exactly practical.

So I’ll try and hide my contempt for the whole thing, but if you happen to see me scowling and grumbling my way through the mall, it’s probably best to give me a wide berth. Unless, of course, you’re handing out 25% off coupons to Macy’s, in which case I’ll slap a smile on my face, offer a jolly “Ho-ho-ho!” and make a bee line for the store, perhaps to buy myself a new pair of boots.

Hey, I may be cranky, but I’m not stupid.

What’s your take on the extended holiday season? Click “comments” below and share!