Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Never Thought It Was A Bad Little Tree

Lauren and I went to Walgreen’s the other day. 

We do this on days where Tabitha has her after-school violin practice, since there’s not really enough time to go home or do much of anything productive in the tiny little slice of the day that exists between picking up Lauren at Not Bad President Elementary and picking up Tabitha at Mighty Clever Guy Middle School, even when you add in the half hour or so that the violin group takes up.  And Walgreens has snacks.

We like snacks.

It is cold here in Wisconsin again, the sort of weather we normally get in November.  That’s close enough to being on target that we’ll take it.  It’s also cold enough that hanging out by MCGMS and tossing our superball against the asphalt to see how high it bounces is a bit more daunting than it was a couple of weeks ago.  So after we picked out our snacks (and one for Tabitha), Lauren and I wandered around a bit looking at all the various items that are for sale.

Christmas is coming.  Did you know that?  It is!  Don’t tell anyone.  It’s a secret.  That’s why the retail establishments of America are working so hard to have their stores covered in Christmas kitsch year-round, so you’ll never really know when the holiday is actually drawing nearer and you’ll just buy stuff all the time.  It’s a sure-fire recession-killing strategy, if you ask me.  A nation dumb enough to buy pre-cooked bacon strips would surely fall for a trick like this.

So we looked at the Christmas merchandise.  It was sparkly.

And there, prominently displayed on one of the end caps, was Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.  Or, rather, roughly a dozen copies of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, attractively packaged and individually branded with the appropriate logos and trademark symbols.

Does irony even exist in America anymore?

I’ve always loved the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  It’s much quieter than most of the holiday-themed cartoons that haunt the airwaves these days, and for all the goofy humor in it there is a deep streak of introspection and sadness underneath.  And there is the tree, the pathetic little sprig that Charlie Brown brings home instead of the snazzy aluminum monstrosities so popular then, the last bit of homely warmth in a coldly commercial world.

You can buy them now.  Pre-packaged. 

I’m not at all sure this represents progress.

6 comments:

Eric said...

And there, prominently displayed on one of the end caps, was Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Or, rather, roughly a dozen copies of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, attractively packaged and individually branded with the appropriate logos and trademark symbols.

Just because there isn't really a "War On Christmas" doesn't mean there shouldn't be.

Funny how, as I get older and Christmas gets crasser, the Grinch starts looking more and more like a sympathetic hero, ahead of his time and having the right general idea. ("I will take their elfs from their shelfs, steal their fake plastic trees! I'll scratch the syrupy songs on their pop star CDs! No widescreen TVs, no Apple phones! Just the Whos in their Who-houses, together, alone! They'll have to sing their own songs over homemade roast beast, and be nice to each other, and say 'Thank you!' and 'Please!' Then away to their beds, with these words from the wise: Christmas isn't store-bought, it comes from inside.")

Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

And yet in the end the Charlie Brown Christmas tree is gussied up with all the flash from Snoopy's 1st Prize dog house decorations award.

What message does that tell? (grin)

Dr. Phil

beatrice in Paris said...

WHOA! Eric is a poet! A gifted one, too.

One of the disadvantages of living abroad is not being able to see the Grinch and Charlie Brown during the Christmas season.

David said...

Bea, Eric has many talents. :) Don't they have DVDs of those in Europe? That's how we watch them these days.

Dr. Phil - I wondered about that sometimes, and eventually chose to believe that it never happened. Because I can, that's why. ;)

Eric - I don't think there should be a war on Christmas. I like Christmas. I do think there should be a war on people who shove Christmas down my throat, whether through retail efforts or theocratic whinging. Those people and the horses they rode in on can just go find other things to do.

TimBo said...

WAR ON BACON!!!!!!!!!!! THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH PRE-COOKED BACON STRIPS OR ANY OTHER FORM OF BACON. YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY A VEGAN OR IN THE POCKET OF BIG CHICKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since I've been separated I haven't bothered much with Christmas but now with threee young kids in the house I allowed myself to be nagged into getting a Christmas tree. I even bought lights for it. But was that good enough? Oh, no. I had to get other decorations as well. I suppose that on Christmas Eve I'll even have to put presents beneath the thing. Will the expense never end?

I did get a bit of a Charlie Brown tree I admit. The kids like it though.

David said...

PRECOOKED BACON IS AN ABOMINATION AND AN INSULT TO THE ONE TRUE AND HOLY FORM OF BACON COOKED TO ORDER!!!

AWAY, BLASPHEMER!!!

Christmas festivities are mostly about the kids, I think. We're going to get our tree this weekend, and the house will be festive and decorated shortly thereafter. If it were me alone, I likely wouldn't bother too much, but having children around does make you get more into it.