Ho Ho Ho! Merry Early November!

I really hate to be the old crabby lady that I appear to be to my kids, but I’m going to have to mention the fact that Santa is at our mall already. I realize that complaining about how early Christmas starts is part of the maturing process that turns a borderline-hip 50-something into Rose from The Golden Girls. I’m blaming it on the hot flashes and the fact that my husband was even more upset than me, and he’s younger.

We went to the mall together yesterday, a rare occurrence in our marriage. We’re not shopping compatible, so the only real shopping we do together is to Home Depot and that’s only because it takes two people to steer the platform dolly. In regular shopping, my husband walks too fast and because I refuse to trot, I end up walking way behind him, irritating him, especially when I decide to stop and do something crazy like go into a store to buy something. We are never in the market for the same things, so we never want to be in the same stores. It’s a mess.

Yesterday, though, we found ourselves in the midst of a freak retail shopping accident in which we were both in the same car and we both had to go to the mall. I had to shop for a baby gift and buy party invitations and my husband had visiting hours scheduled with a mac computer in the Apple store. (Someday he’ll get custody, but for now supervised visits with limited physical contact is the best that he can get.)

When we walked in through the Macy’s entrance I immediately saw no less than three giant Christmas tree-shaped piles of balls. They were red and silver, they were shiny and they were about as festive as Macy’s gets outside New York City on Black Friday. By the time we wended our way through the store and into the mall concourse, my husband was beside himself with middle-aged crankiness over the Christmas stuff being out and Christmas carols being piped throughout the store.

“Oh, look, there’s Santa’s thing,” I said before I could stop myself. The spot in the middle of the mall that is reserved for special events, like fashion shows and that famous guy that did makeovers once, had been turned into Caesar’s Palace on steroids. That’s how I knew it was Santa’s spot. Only in America is Santa Claus given digs fit for Caligula. He has an actual throne and the whole place is a celebration of red velvet, all that is fake gold, and giant bows. (The only thing missing was a vomitorium, but there was a fountain nearby.)

Then we saw that Santa has already arrived and is holding court there. There were already kids in line. (What kid worthy of the title knows what he wants for Christmas already? They haven't even invented the stuff yet that my kids are getting.)  My husband threatened to kick Santa’s butt from here back to the North Pole. “And don’t let me see you back here until November 27,” he muttered.

Maybe if I had younger kids and had a list of rare, hard to find toys to girl-fight someone over, I would appreciate the early start. But as much as I love Christmas, I know that if I have to put up with another 41 days of Bing Crosby music in Brookstone, vases full of fake snow in Pottery Barn, and stacks of shiny red and silver balls in Macy’s, I’m likely to stage a little Black Friday of my own, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

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