I saw my first Christmas commercial yesterday. For those of you keeping score at home, that was 50 days before the fat fellow with the white whiskers and sack of goodies is scheduled to touch down on rooftops hither and yon.
I find this to be somewhat of an irritant. Bah humbug, I say!
I mean, what’s the rush? Can we not get through Remembrance Day and American Thanksgiving without the Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Ga., force feeding us a warm-and-fuzzy Christmas theme to peddle its sugary, syrupy goop? Apparently not. Coke, it would seem, is not prepared to run that risk. Wouldn’t want to let Christmas sneak up on us this year, right? As if.
I swear, it’s enough to turn a reindeer’s red nose blue.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Miss, Mrs. or Ms. Ebeneezer Scrooge. I’m not anti-ho, ho, ho. Love Christmas. I really do. Nicest time of the year. But, geez Louise, I want to hear Bing Crosby crooning White Christmas the first week of November like a kid wants a lump of coal in his stocking. Again, don’t get me wrong. Love the song. Surely one of Irving B.’s best. And no one does it better than Der Bingle.
It’s just that I don’t need Coca-Cola, or any other fat-cat company for that matter, shoving Christmas in my face on the fourth day of November. What, we have to race out to the market and purchase a few cartons of pop pronto just in case the Coke shelves are bare on Christmas Eve?
Christmas commercials this early is sour egg nog, that’s what it is.
Look, Christmas, if nothing else, is about children, and I can’t even imagine that kids are already getting giddy about the big day.
Although well off in the distance, I seem to recall that, in my youth, I didn’t get geeked up about Christmas until the Santa Claus parade rolled through the downtown streets of Winnipeg. That, to the best of my reflection, was at the tail end of November, usually a few days after both my birthday (on the 27th) and the Grey Cup game (also at the end of the month and sometimes the first weekend in December).
Then it was game on.
There are, of course, no hard-and-fast rules re the buildup to Christmas, but it seems to me that it ought to be a December thing. You know, frost on the pumpkin, white stuff on the ground. Mind you, it seldom snows where I hang my bonnet, but Christmas is a feel thing. It’s the seductive smell of shortbread cookies fresh off the bake. It’s the thought of mom’s yummy fruit cake and butter tarts tucked into the freezer. It’s the urgency of being on one’s best behavior, lest there be no special gifts packaged under the tree.
What Christmas isn’t, is a Coca-Cola commercial before Rudolph and his reindeer accomplices have had the time to grow their full winter coats.
There is room for Coke in Christmas, though. As I recall, on a few occasions we kids would leave a bottle of Coke and a couple cookies on a plate for Santa in my home. Just so the jolly fellow had something to snack on during his lengthy trek. Nice touch. But, hey, that was a Christmas Eve thing, not a November thing.
Way, way, way back in the day (1929), Coke used this advertising slogan: “The pause that refreshes.”
So have a Coke and chill, Coco-Cola. Christmas shall arrive soon enough.