The Christmas Creep Free Zone

The Christmas Creep Free Zone

For weeks now we’ve been receiving word – Christmas is out in many stores. Summer arts and craft festivals feature Christmas goodies, artists are recording holiday albums in studios, and later this week the world marks Leon Day – the halfway point to Christmas. Hallmark is releasing their catalog of new Christmas ornaments and the cable shopping channels are gearing up for hours and hours of “Christmas-in-July”. Christmas, it seems, is everywhere. But something is missing. Do you know what it is? It is the absence of complaint. It is the silence of un-merry dissent. It is the non-cry ofRead more

Silly Santas on Parade

Silly Santas on Parade

Everyone wants to be Santa Claus. Who wouldn’t want to work with toys, elves and reindeer? Who would not want to be beloved of children and adults alike? Santa is universally recognized, perpetually jolly, well fed, and immensely popular. Other men look on Santa with envy. He is the ultimate man’s man. He works with power tools, drives faster than anyone, and he gets all the girls. Santa is so popular people cannot help dressing up like him for all kinds of public events. In Sweden they gather by the thousands dressed in beards and red suits – to jog.Read more

What it Means to Have a White Christmas

What it Means to Have a White Christmas

As the days steadily march towards Christmas weathermen and prognosticators take center stage to predict — or not — a “white Christmas”. In Ohio they are saying the 2nd half of December will be too warm for much of a chance of snow on the ground come Christmas Day. In Detroit they are saying there is a very good chance at having an inch of snow on ground. And in Minnesota they say the pattern of mild weather will likely change before Christmas. Not to put pressure on these people but we need to be clear what exactly a “WhiteRead more

Tips for Keeping Santa Special

Tips for Keeping Santa Special

In the spirit of St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) we offer a few suggestions for keeping the magic of Santa alive. The figure of Santa Claus holds a special place in the heart of anyone who loves Christmas. Belief is not measured in wanting Santa to bring things — belief is embracing the love and hope and joy and giving of the season. Famously it is said that there are four stages in life: you believe in Santa, you don’t believe in Santa, you believe in Santa again, then you look like Santa. Funny as that statement is the truthRead more

Reading Dickens

Reading Dickens

Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol backwards and forwards. Pick a version by decade and you’re bound to find one you love. Everyone can claim to have seen a big or a small screen version of it. But have you ever read it? I confess it never passed in front of my eyes until I was an adult. It was during one of my first Christmas seasons alone — a bleak time when I felt more than sorry for myself for being alone at Christmas. I picked up the book in a store and thought I could wallowRead more

Christmas Haters

Christmas Haters

There is a whole new generation of Christmas lovers out there and they face things a lot of us older Christmas fanatics have never had to endure: the Christmas Hater. The following video is from a very popular YouTube star, Colleen Ballinger, who is talented, funny and — it turns out — a Christmas lover. She does a variety of musical and comedic stuff on YouTube and I only know about her from what my teenage daughters have shared with me the past few years. But this video from her was passed to me by some others and I’ve onlyRead more

The Truth about Nordstroms and Thanksgiving

The Truth about Nordstroms and Thanksgiving

The social media buzz in early November about Christmas and Thanksgiving is out of control this year. The Starbucks thing is insane, the Santa glacier deal was just weird and now this effusive praise for Nordstrom’s is out of control. You haven’t heard about this? Nordstrom’s is being praised for not decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving and not being open on Thanksgiving Day. Well that’s great. But guess what? None of that is new. Before anyone else heaps praise on Nordstrom’s let’s have a little reality check, shall we? There is one reason and one reason only that Nordstroms isn’tRead more

Stop Losing Your Head About Starbucks

Stop Losing Your Head About Starbucks

I am not a coffee drinker. And I will tell you straight up, I’ve dealt with Starbucks on the business end and I think little of them. My personal opinion of their products is that they sell an over-priced offering that has zero appeal to me. Yes, I’ve been in a few of their locations and purchased pastries and cocoa and each time my experience has been negative because of various reasons. So I’m the last guy on earth to defend them, especially given my known stance on all things Christmas. But I have a message to my Christmas friendsRead more

Battling the Misguided War on Christmas Creep

Battling the Misguided War on Christmas Creep

One of the modern trends of Christmas is the complaint against it: some people either just cannot stand Christmas altogether or simply do not like to see it too early. The media calls it “Christmas Creep”, an annual gripe about Christmas mostly showing up too early in stores or too soon on radio or television stations. The complaints can be bitter. From Orange County someone going by the name of Frumpy Mom rails against Christmas too soon. Some complaints about it give you pause. In Canada a movement continues to encourage refraining from the decorating and commercialization of Christmas untilRead more

Five Myths of the War on Christmas

Five Myths of the War on Christmas

It is the Christmas topic people hate to hear about and like even less to discuss: The War on Christmas. And yet it persists — year after year. This year it appears to be championed by presidential candidates. That means we could hear more about it than usual. Before the roar of Christmas debate in the media threatens to snuff out all Christmas cheer, let’s get a few things straight. Regardless of which political side of the spectrum you adhere to there are some myths perpetuated by this constant conversation. And you can lessen the seasonal pain by understanding whatRead more