Tomorrow, as I’m sure most of you are aware, is Christmas. You know what that means. It means that the day after tomorrow all the Christmas merchandise will be on sale! For some reason that I cannot fathom, all the great pre-Christmas bargains are suddenly not such great bargains anymore, and are now marked down to half-price. Okay, maybe I really can fathom this familiar concept of retail business and marketing, as the Christmas season is the epitome of secular consumerism. Not that I’m above a little Christmas consumerism, mind you, as it is expected to have gifts under the tree for people to open on Christmas morning. (Except for those folks who cheat and open gifts on Christmas Eve, which is unacceptable in my book. Still, gifts are expected.) But I do have to admit to a certain anticipation for the after-Christmas sales, as this is where I have accumulated most of my “stuff” for the following year. It makes no sense to pay full price for seasonal items pre-holiday when you can get them for much less if you only have a little patience and forethought. Still, in the days leading up to Christmas, I see a lot of people pushing buggies loaded with expensive lights, ornaments, wrapping paper, decorations, and other assorted Christmas paraphernalia, and I have to smugly congratulate myself on my fiscal fortitude and foresight from previous years. By the way, this plan works well for other holidays, provided food isn’t involved. Somehow Valentine’s candy left over from the last year isn’t quite as appealing by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around again. But I have been sorely tempted to return items I received for Christmas and re-buy them at half-price. (Don’t worry, I haven’t acted on this impulse. Yet.)
I guarantee there will be a feeding frenzy at Walmart on Tuesday morning as people (myself among them) snatch up wrapping paper, ribbons, decorations, and all the other items marked down by at least fifty percent. It doesn’t matter that I have more wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon than I will ever use in this lifetime. I will see something particularly pretty that I simply must buy. I am also due a new Christmas sweatshirt as the one I have been wearing for forty years is starting to look a little ratty. In the past, I have been able to procure some great seasonal clothing that I put away until the next year. To that end, I have kept my eyes open for a nice sweatshirt I can buy on Tuesday. The problem is I haven’t seen any I like, so I may be stuck wearing the ratty sweatshirt again next year. I am also holding out for those half-priced tins of mixed popcorn, which, for some reason, I suddenly have a craving for. Go figure. I never have a craving for popcorn unless it’s at a movie theatre and I smell the butter when I walk in.
I also guarantee that any peace on earth and goodwill to men will go right out the window in the zeal to accumulate more good deals on post-Christmas merchandise. Shoppers can get downright violent when it comes to the last plastic Frosty the Snowman on the shelf. Kind of reminds me of the scene in Christmas with the Kranks with the fight over the last canned hickory-honey ham. Fortunately, there are few things I want badly enough to risk an injury or lawsuit over. In reality, I need to consider getting rid of some of my old decorations rather than adding more. But I always need more Christmas cards, preferably ones with a Christian message, seeing as how, despite the way people behave during after-Christmas sales, Christmas is still about Jesus. And I promise I won’t shove people out of the way to get the cards, as that would defeat the purpose of the true meaning of the season.
Speaking of the true meaning of the season, and all tongue-in-cheek after-Christmas sales kidding aside, I wish you all a blessed and peaceful celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!