Let’s pack up…
it’s December 1st already, the holidays are over


Well, it finally happened. For years we’ve been talking about how Christmas starts earlier and earlier every year. You know you have, and you’re just as sick of seeing Christmas trees up two weeks before Halloween as I am.

But, in a strange way, I bring you good news. We’ve finally reached the breaking point. For you see, here it is 2004, and we’ve finally hit upon the final straw… this year we can confirm that Christmas is actually over before the 25th of December.

It all began for me with an observation when I walked into the house one day in mid-October and on the counter of my kitchen, I saw that the holiday issues of some magazines had started coming out. Ways to decorate… ways to bake… ways to select gifts. Some of our subscriptions had arrived with the news, and there were others in the stores. At the time, it triggered a few thoughts about the claim of the holidays arriving earlier and earlier, and how this might relate to the fall of society in general.

But I didn’t worry about it. It was a thought that flew in, fluttered about for a moment, and flow off.


None of this should be surprising to us. We’ve been changing dates for years in all sorts of ways. The new cars always used to come out in September or so… carrying the model year designation for a calendar date still four months away. And, at the risk of ruining the early arrival of holidays topic as a pet peeve, I could understand that.

Some of ii is nothing more than marketing. Christmas and December are a massive retail push, and when it comes to sales and dollars often you try to extend what rings the registers and fills the accounts.

I can also follow magazines released in November with December’s date. Most of the, if you’ll allow the phrase, shelf life was actually accurately noted in these instances. The dates may seem early, but they work over time. Plus, most of these magazines need to be planned well in advance, which likely meant Christmas recipes and decorating and articles and more being produced in March and April in order to be finished for the issue.

But then video games went out and started using the wrong years entirely for the sporting titles. If you buy the 2005 edition of a baseball game in two months, you’ll get last year’s game with the 2004 line-ups. Want the 2005 football games? They were out last July and August. No shelf life dilemmas there, just stupid people in marketing that can’t read a calendar.

But then...

This past weekend… the end of November… I found out that none of it mattered. Christmas was over already.

That’s when I saw the January issue of a magazine on the counter. No mention of the holidays. Just great advice for the new year, delivered to my home before any of the holidays they covered last edition had even officially taken place.

We’ve now started the holidays so early that they are over before they’ve begun. (I don’t know if there’s any peace to be found in that.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the early days of the In My Backpack web site, I was trying several different ways to present material.

My journal entries were referred to as “A Momentary Lapse…” for a period of time, which eventually transitioned to “Are you chewing gum?” for a bit. Eventually, after a few restarts, modifications, and relaunches, the Now Playing area took over.

One of occasional segments—appearing perhaps ten times a year or so—was called Random Thoughts, which I described as…

Too long for “A Momentary Lapse…”… Not enough for a full article… Need to get them off my “ideas to work on” list…

This essay was originally created and presented as a Random Thoughts entry. I’m bringing it back as a From the Backpack offering because I’m curious about the content and the effort. But, worth noting, it may still seem a bit incomplete, needing more development, and may or may not have gone through some additional edits and re-writes beyond my usual finds when searching the archives.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com