The Christmas retail season officially opened on Veteran's Day here in Southern California. No matter how many candy cane street light decorations I see or different versions of 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' I hear, it does not feel like Christmas. It certainly doesn't help when there are palm trees all over the place.
Please don't mistake my holiday blues for my inability to deal with the fact that I am no longer 6 and believe in the magic of Santa Claus. I successfully completed that 12 step program last month and the doctors assure me that I will be fine.
No, it doesn't feel like Christmas because there's no snow anywhere and it's 80 degrees outside. I'm seriously lost when it comes to seasons (there must be a medical term for this). The other day I told someone that Easter was fast approaching and they looked at me like I had lost my marbles.
Up north it's cold, it's dark, and there's snow on the ground. These are the conditions that trigger my subconscious in preparation for the greatest of all holidays. When I was younger, these conditions also included the arrival of the SEARS Wishbook filled with pages of the latest in Star Wars toys. The good stuff was in the back of the catalog, past all the clothes, tools, and Barbie Dolls.
These days the Wishbook has been replaced with Amazon Wishlists and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. So bland, so sterile have you ever tried to draw a Christmas Tree with the Evergreen Green Crayon in an email? It doesn't work.
It's absurd that people who live in non-cold, non-snow environments even celebrate a holiday that is based above the Arctic Circle. Christmas requires snow, or at the very least, temperatures hovering around the freezing point (Hey SoCal Kids, that means 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
For myself and fellow Southern Californians, December 25th should simply be called Happy Fantastic Consumer Confidence Measurement Day. This new holiday would be more appropriate because it would not have any prerequisite weather conditions and nobody seems to even know what the real Spirit of Christmas is down here. Most people mistake it as an early sign of a bad drug habit or that you have to go to the bathroom really bad.
Despite the bitterness and resentment I may have towards the non-Christmas atmosphere just Ten Miles to Disneyland, I respectfully submit (by popular demand) the official Christmas (or Happy Fantastic Consumer Confidence Measurement Day) Wishlist filled with material goods that will represent just how much you love me.
Keep in mind that I have been very, very good this year.