Happy-Merry Hallowgivingchristmas

Have you been to the stores lately? Have you!? It was bad enough when the stores were putting out their Halloween candy in July.  July, people. But now, now our treasured holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are being merged into one mega-holiday season. I don’t know if this phenomenon has hit your area yet, but in my town the stores have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in adjacent aisles. Really retailers?  Just why?

There can be only answer: money. Retail stores will do 30% of their annual business during the “Christmas Season.” It makes sense to make the Christmas Season last for almost 70 days.  Even though the habit is being dialed back, many large retailers are now even open on Thanksgiving Day, denying their employees anything to be thankful for except overtime pay…and even that is not a guarantee given the existence of sneaky Scrooge-like scheduling gurus.

In a stroke of extreme irony, stores now have mega-sales on what is now known as Black Friday; the day after Thanksgiving. People wait in line all night to be among the first to buy something, anything that is on sale. On Thursday they give thanks for what they have, on Friday they are savagely punching and fighting people to get an X-Box or flat screen TV.  Finishing off the Thanksgiving weekend is White Monday. This is the online shopper’s day to stay planted in front of a computer searching for audacious online deals. Using this logic, I expect to see Magenta Tuesday for people to have their own Holiday Garage Sales.

Although, I will interject here – one of my favorite concepts is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a day of actual GIVING – to charities big and small…so Magenta Tuesday better back the hell off.

I don’t want to sound curmudgeonly, but I really feel that the flattening of the traditional holiday “spikes” turns the last quarter of the year into an amorphous blob of festive displays, shopping guilt, jammed mall parking lots, and a false fear that I might forget to buy a gift for someone.

Someone somewhere is bound to capitalize on this frenzied commercialism by inventing color-coded bins for us to stash our stashes of gifts and decorations: Orange and Black for Halloween; Brown and Orange for Thanksgiving; and of course, Red and Green for Christmas.  This will allow us to keep order in our frenetic final days of the year. Sheesh, I can feel the stress coming on already.

Of course, this begs the question, “When will the madness end?” I don’t want to be forced to buy a brown bin with leaf decor for all the Autumnal Equinox goodies, or a pink bin with red hearts for all my Valentine’s Day gifts.

Am I being unreasonable? I just want to focus on Halloween until it’s time to focus on Thanksgiving.  When that’s over, I can set my sights on getting into the Christmas Spirit.

 

Sally Squirrel’s Great Discovery

So, awhile back, my daughter Sarah was at the dentist’s office and while I was waiting with her in the treatment room for her to recover from the anesthesia, I made a new friend. She was quite witty and intelligent, and has had awesome life, so I thought I would turn over my blog to her for this evening so that she can tell her story in her own words. I’m not sure I believe everything she told me, but what the hell, you can decide on your own after you hear her side of things.

My name is Sally. Sally Squirrel. I promised that I would write my story simply and humbly, rather than tooting my own horn. I’m a squirrel and I don’t have lips, so blowing any kind of horn is out of the question. Also, I can’t pat myself on the back because my arms are too short and I can’t reach my back.

The day that changed my life began as they all do. I woke up in a tree. The people who own the tree also had a bird feeder full of delicious seeds. They recently let me know that they had a problem with me eating all the seeds by putting a large collar around the feeder. I was forced to scrounge for other things to eat. Acorns were fine, but got rather boring. Also, I had a dental problem that made eating acorns problematic. I have uneven buckteeth that make me look like a tiny rabbit that grew up near a nuclear waste dump.

You see, we squirrels have twenty teeth.  They’re pretty tough and allow us to break open nuts. They don’t wear down.  That’s my problem. I’m stuck with my buckteeth. I’ve even tried chewing on metal poles to wear them down.  No luck. Making things tougher for me is the fact that I love birdseed. Having these big, ugly choppers means that I have to jam the seeds into the side of my mouth.

Back to the day that changed my life. I was scrounging for breakfast. I saw a group of sparrows dancing around on a windowsill, gorging themselves with birdseed. Sparrows are notorious chickens…well, not real chickens.  More like scaredy cats…well, not real cats, but you get it, right? They definitely don’t like a scuffle. I jumped up on the windowsill and began a delightful feast as the sparrows took off.

As I was stuffing some sunflower seeds into the side of my mouth, I looked into the window and saw something that, at first, terrified me. A man in a white coat was torturing a girl who was in a reclining chair. Oh the humanity! I described the terrible scene to a group of squirrel friends that had just discovered the windowsill buffet for themselves. They all fled in terror. But me, I was transfixed.

It was then that I realized that the girl was smiling. The torturer was chatting with her. I couldn’t believe it! I almost dropped my nuts. Looking around the room, I saw figures of happy teeth dancing with toothbrushes. There were pictures of people smiling, showing off their beautiful teeth. I watched in utter fascination as the man in the white coat skillfully worked on the mouth of the little girl.  In no time at all, they were done. The girl got out of the chair and shook hands with the Mr. White Coat. It suddenly hit me! This must be one of those “dentists” I’d heard about. They fix teeth!  I began tapping on the window. They both turned and saw me, they also saw my teeth. I mean, how could they not? Maybe he could help me, I thought.

I frantically pointed to my choppers and then to the dentist.  I tried to give him my best sad squirrel look. The two humans looked at each other and nodded. The dentist opened the window and pointed to the chair. He explained that he was going to put “squirrel appropriate” crowns on my buckteeth. I was ecstatic! Everything went as planned and well, here I am…able to eat acorns and birdseed and the occasional French fry thrown out by passers-by with nary an issue at all.

If I had wi-fi, I’d leave a great review on Yelp for Mr. Dentist. As it is, I just hang out here on the windowsill offering up my story to all who will listen. It’s a good life. And the birdseed is worth it.

Yeah, okay. The wait might’ve been a little long, certainly long enough for me to distract myself with squirrel stories. And before you ask, no, I did not help myself to the nitrous oxide. My brain just entertains itself, sort of like an unsupervised toddler.  But hey, squirrels ARE cute…so there’s that.

My Introvert Life – Log Entry 52745

Stardate 20170410 – Time: When Everyone Else Seems To Be Doing Stuff Too

Despite my better judgement, but driven by hunger and lack of rations, I ventured out into the world today.

Triple-checked and, yup, had everything I needed to buy for the week in my shopping cart. All ready to check out. Approaching the cashier, I saw someone I know in line. Someone who talks a lot and seems to know everything. Every. Thing.

Hmmm…

…oh right, almost forgot, there were a few more items I needed to get for that thing I was going to make one day.

Pulled a U-turn and disappeared down an aisle.

Another crisis averted.