It's become a Chicagoland tradition -- November 1 is the start of Christmas. Even before we've taken down the Halloween decorations or put up the Thanksgiving ornaments, stores are dazzled with Xmas sales & sizzle. ['Xmas' as in a Christian holyday without the Christ guy interrupting the buying mood].
In recent years this extravaganza of excess has been punctuated by the way every radio station plays wall-to-wall Christmas music. In your car, on your computer, piping in from street loudspeakers, and on television. The only place you won't find it is in churches which prefer to celebrate a holy day without too much holiday.
Now some folks resent this assault. You may be one of them. And there's a good case for dispensing with this vulgarity of excess. Something like the way some people weary of the recurring diet of Holocaust books and programs. These critics insist this is a secular society in which such blatant religious agendas don't belong.
That's an argument that will continue to be fought in our courts and, even more vigorously, in our hearts. Nothing quite tests the patience of a democracy like the proclamations of its religions.
In the meantime, love it or hate it, we are about to be engulfed in a rapture of Christmasey stuff. From 'Silent Night' to 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer;' from Perry Como and Bing Crosby to the latest rockers and rappers. See, here's the whole idea. Stores don't care what Christmas means to you. What counts, brother, is how can they woo and wow you into feeling what they're selling is exactly what Christmas is all about.
Just out of college, I was selling vacuum cleaners door to door. I shall never forget my first lesson in Capitalism-Christmas. Our beefy, whiskey-soaked sales manager explained how this holiday connection worked. "Once you get in the door, here's your pitch: Lady, you need this Filter Queen, because god knows you don't want to bring Christ into a dirty home....!"
With a roar of "lets do it!" from the assembled sales team, out we charged. To make another Christmas clean for Christ with our $79.99 Filter Queens.
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