Random Thoughts…

As another trip winds down, and the holidays are ramping up, I can’t help but compare what his happening today with my memories as a child in the 50s…

It seems to me there is no longer any real ‘feeling’ for the holidays, be it Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter or any ‘other’ holiday (country dependent)…

Had a rather interesting conversation at the hotel bar last night with an older couple from Brisbane and two young ladies from Melbourne (both of them work in retail as managers), and a couple from England.

We were chatting initially about how the Christmas shopping period seemed to have expanded since we were kids, as they remembered it not starting until early Dec even down here.  The Brit couple chimed in that their parents were complaining about it too.

The young ladies said they were here for a corporate meeting because their company was not happy with the Christmas sales so far, and dire projections were impacting their stores.  They said they’d started “Christmas” music/advertising/sales in Oct this year.

The older couple asked what Black Friday was in the states, and I told them that was the ‘official’ for lack of a better word, start of the Christmas shopping. I also told them about the ‘new’ thing of sales and stores being open on Thanksgiving Day this year.  The young Brits both said it was sad that shopping had overcome a day of thanks, and everyone else agreed.

That led us down the path of Christmas now being about presents and consumables rather than a celebration of Christ’s birth…

And Easter was now about bunnies and eggs rather than Church and redemption…

The older couple said they were glad they wouldn’t be around to see the ‘final’ changes and mentioned they’d be staying home and celebrating quietly this year, as their kids didn’t want to come home, but would rather spend time/money on their own kids presents which meant they couldn’t afford to come see the parents (and the hubby said, “I’ll be bloody damned if I’ll spend our savings to pay for them to fly home.”

The young ladies said their company was ‘expecting’ over 50% of the entire year’s revenue to come in between 1 Oct and 31 Dec, and there were weekly sales planned and contingencies for moving merchandise that wasn’t selling well.  And they were expected to work the 24th and keep the stores open late (until midnight I believe). Both of them said they were having trouble getting workers that were willing to work Christmas Eve, and they both said they would not be able to go see their families either.

They Brits said they were going to be home for Christmas and since both their families lived in the same town, they alternated Christmas Eve/morning and church each year with his family and hers.

And they brought up the political correctness issues in England now with all the muslims in their enclaves throughout not only England, but now Scotland, Wales and some in Northern Ireland and they impacts…  Neither were pleased about how “inclusiveness” seemed to only be a one way street, with Christians/Jewish and Christian/Jewish holidays being minimized while other holidays seemed to be ‘promoted’…

All in all quite an interesting evening.  Now off to the airport for the slog home…


Random Thoughts… — 20 Comments

  1. Times change – not always for the better.

    Speaking of “inclusiveness” in the UK, take a look at this.

    Have a good trip home, and enjoy Thanksgiving (and Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and…)

  2. Let’s go with the pagan celebrations this year. Burn a Yule log, put up an evergreen tree, decorate the house with lights for the winter solstice, that kind of stuff.

    • that’s what we’ve opted to do. we’re not really Christians, so we’re going to have our own quiet evening celebrating the Solstice…then we’ll dive into family stuff a few days later.

  3. By spreading the Christmas shopping season over several months, it has cheapened the celebration. But then that applies to other formerly special days like Remembrance/Memorial Day, etc. We refuse to participate in the idiocy of arising in the wee hours to stand in line outside of stores to save a few bucks. But it’s the consumers’ fault: if everyone stopped participating, the retailers’ emphasis would change.

  4. Our nation seems to hand so much of a year’s “success” on Christmas – what will a company’s bottom line be, are we buying just the “right” present, will we get the “right” present, how about the meal . . . so much has been lost.

    This time of year we would get the script for our Christmas play, Saturdays were filled with rehersals, school days with attention to thoroughly Non-PC art work in today’s world.

    I wonder what it will take to have us return to those days of Faith, Wonder and a love of what’s truly important.

    Regardless – safe travels Jim. I hope you make it back in time to spend Thanksgiving with your family.

  5. The local Home Depot was tying red bows to the evergreens in their garden center by the first of October. Definitely a “You are kidding me!” moment.

  6. I do miss the simpler days where family and tradition was more important than shopping and getting the best deal. And getting simple gifts, some even made by hand, that meant you spent time and thought in the purchase. Sad how things have evolved. I prefer my era much more.

    Pleasant travels, and I hope you make it for Thanksgiving and have a place to share your day with good people. If not, lay over in Atlanta and you can join us.

  7. May you have safe travels and a Thankfull Thanksgiving with those that matter most!
    I’m thankful, as this year… all the kids have reported in and we are having RK turkey, pomegranate pie, the green bean thing, and old bread crumbs… as soon as I find mom’s teef.

  8. I am sorry to hear that your first-person interviews agree with what he have heard on the blogs.

  9. Muslim hegemony in determining what is “inclusive” and what isn’t. Christmas crap in Costco beginning in August and Healthcare assurances that you can keep your doctor and your policy…all part of the new normal.

  10. i have a warped view.

    i used to work for Hallmark. they have their first ornament premiere of the year in July…right around my birthday.

    the second hits in (i believe) October and the third in either November or December (i can’t remember, to be honest – i try to block out most of the time i spent there).

    i’m really sick of Christmas Creep, as it’s been dubbed elsewhere on the internet. it’s made me hate holiday music and i usually dread decorating. since the Husband-Elect and i started dating i’ve seen his decorating dwindle slowly to just a few things…the tree, a couple of strings of lights in the house, light-sensitive electric candles in the windows, and that’s about it. we focus more energy on spending time with the parents. i’d rather that, anyway. the “stuff” is just clutter.

  11. He’ll be home in time. Going over you lose a day, coming back you land in LA before you left Melbourne/Sydney. Talk about jet lag!

  12. Hey Old NFO;

    Yeap the Christmas creep seems to be earlier and earlier…if you ain’t careful, you go from Halloween straight into Christmas and Thanksgiving is somehow forgotten. And don’t even get me going on the inclusive stuff…We are expected to be tolerant of other beliefs but they are not tolerant of my belief and if I call them out on it, I am a “hater” and a muslimaphobe or something like that…..Well my “tolerance” quotient is about maxed out. I find myself getting more aggravated as time goes on and my live and let live attitude will not work anymore..

  13. I admire how you make instant friends and talk about important things that you all miss, or wish would change to how we all remember them, thanks. Hope the trip home is good, and you got to sleep in one of those stretch out sleepers most of us will only see in commercials. But then as NFO you do know how to sleep anywhere any time. Be thankful, for we are so blest that little stuff seems so worthy – but it isn’t. Have a great holiday, and survive the season!

  14. Tim- Heard that… sigh

    ASM/Laura- You DO have good points!

    Rev- True, and a good idea!

    Bill- Understood, and I don’t have a good answer. I’m back, but looking forward to a Chicken Pot Pie… sigh

    PH- Good point… sigh

    CP- Thanks, and ‘thought’ I might end up in Atlanta… @#$^ airlines… sigh

    Brighid- Enjoy! 😀

    Opus- Yep, me too!

    LL- Yep, “our” Christian views are no longer acceptable…

    Laura- I think y’alls view is probably BETTER than 90% of the folks out there…

    Larry- Yep, but the connections are hell… OJ through the airport again!

    Bob- Understood and I’m about to the same point. Why do ‘we’ have to give everything and the others give nothing?

    WSF- Good point!

    Earl- ‘Lubrication’ helps… 🙂 And I didn’t get the upgrade, but did get a couple of hours. We ARE blest, whether we realize it or not.

  15. well thankee, sir.

    i used to go crazy over “stuff” – this year i asked my parents for a new vacuum, since both of ours have kicked it. Chris has given me more this year alone than i could have asked for. what more do i need, really?