“Christmas comes to Plainfield”

Published in The Plainfield Messenger, Thursday, November 11, 1993

It’s over. Give up the fight. Christmas has come to Plainfield.

I base this pronouncement on three things: 1) Plainfield Plaza has put up its huge, red “Seasons Greetings” sign; 2) The first Christmas tree in a home has been spotted in the area; 3) My friend Lynn has finished her Christmas shopping.

Of the three, I am most distressed about the last. I barely have the list together for my family, let alone actually have any of the shopping done. Organized people like Lynn shop all year long, finish the buying just when the Christmas season starts, then are able to have fun during the holidays. They are complete killjoys.

Not that I don’t want you to think the first two items on the list don’t worry me. Christmas comes early enough to the big Indianapolis malls without us having to face it out here. I used to think we were safe until closer to Thanksgiving, but perhaps not. Next year someone probably will carve pumpkins that look like Santa Claus and place them in the store windows, sneaking Christmas in weeks before Halloween.

And yes, there really is a house with the Christmas tree up. I won’t give away the location. It’s not in Plainfield, but it is in southern Guilford Township. We saw the house from Ind. 267. The date we saw the tree—I am not making this up—was October 16. Scary.

Of course, these are not the only signs Christmas is here. Wal-mart has had some semblance of a Christmas area for a month. All the card stores got their Christmas cards out with the Halloween cards, they just didn’t feature them until November 1, when they put up their Christmas trees.

Kroger has an aisle featuring Christmas wrapping paper and other Christmas stuff. They put it up when they put away the Halloween candy. I haven’t checked Marsh yet, but I bet they have theirs out, too.

It didn’t help when we got two inches of snow on October 30. I am sure it emboldened any retailer who might have been on the edge. Having snow flurries this past Saturday surely pushed them over.

I don’t mean to sound like a Scrooge. I myself have played a part in this. My children have already watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” several times. They took it out of the library. I let them do it. I have weak moments.

So now they sing Christmas carols a cappella. I’ve drawn the line with Katy when she’s asked to watch our copy of Disney’s “A Very Merry Christmas” tape. I probably won’t be able to hold out much longer, though.

The Toys ‘R’ Us catalog came in the Sunday paper. My children have memorized the page numbers which have the toys they want. I don’t pay much attention at this point because I know they’ll change their minds once they see a few more Saturday morning cartoons.

I know I have to start planning the Christmas party for Katy’s preschool class. As the Parent Representative, it’s my responsibility. But I want to put it off just a little longer, maybe until after I have purchased my Thanksgiving turkey. Of course, if I hadn’t completely spaced a 59 cents-a-pound turkey sale last week, I wouldn’t be able to use that excuse now.

I have yet to figure out why it is we want Christmas to come so quickly. Rick Shefchik, a columnist at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, observed that Columbus Day has now become the unofficial kickoff for Yuletide promotions. He predicts that in another year it will back up to Labor Day.

Under these conditions, I think Macy’s will soon stop waiting until Thanksgiving Day to bring in Santa Claus. Watch for them to start sponsoring the Macy’s Halloween Day parade.

Okay, there. I’ve had my say. Sure, I ranted and raved a bit, but I feel a lot better. Now, where’d I put that Christmas list …

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