Given that Halloween
started in mid-August this year, I was certain we’d have Christmas music by
late September. But no! So far, there have been just two reports—from Listener
Brian C. and Listener Zoe—of Christmas music being played in CD departments where Christmas CDs are being sold, which is not the same thing as subliminal Buy-Now
arrangements wafting over the P.A. Neither Listener Brian C. nor Listener Zoe
reported whether or not the CDs were any of the new
crap crop of
Cynical-Record-Company Christmas albums by, like, Bob Dylan or Sting or David Archuleta (you do too
know who!), or even Tori Amos
So! What does this tell us about the state of the economy, I wonder? Last year, stores started up Christmas way early—this year, not so much. Perhaps they learned their lesson when even the big department stores (remember them?) were staying open 24 hours a day and discounting everything by 97% and still couldn’t unload all that crap. This year I think they are keeping smaller inventories and maybe realizing that people are always going to buy something for someone for the holidays, no matter what. I think retailers are sitting and waiting in their stores, like fat, greasy spiders in their webs, waiting for the helpless little consumer to fly in with his hobo $40 cash horde. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t had time to walk into a single store since I started my awesome new job. Maybe it’s a mad Xmas bacchanal all over, and I just don’t know about it.
But I do get Christmas catalogs! Ever since the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Store opened the floodgates on August 28, hardly a day has gone by without two or three Holiday catalogs flopping in through the mail slot and driving the dog nuts. I thought print was dead, but apparently not. Catalogs are like the cargo-cult version of magazines, and I look through all the catalogs in the same way I used to look at magazines, when magazines still existed. Okay, here is my favorite one so far this year: The Vermont Country Store! Everything is so traditional and old-fashionedy, just like Christmas used to be! For example, on page 81, they are featuring a real, old-time clitoral stimulator. Yessiree! Although it’s made of plastic, which is not really like Grandma’s clitoral stimulator that Gramps whittled for her out of a boxwood branch, not even like the store-bought clitoral stimulators you used to see in those big glass jars at the general store, the ones made out of wood that only cost a penny. But still … it’s great to know that someone is still making these, and that some folks are going to have a little bit of real Christmas Cheer in their stockings this year.
As for the Xontest, now that we’re past last year’s winning date of November 10, I think we should call the whole thing off. Therefore, by the powers invested in me as a Former WFMU DJ, I hereby anoint Listener Paul Turkk the Winner-by-Default of this year’s Xmas Xontest. Listener Paul reported that he heard some Christmas music playing on a Glade air freshener commercial on the TV from another room of his house on November 2, which doesn’t have much to do with the contest at all but seems to be the best we’re gonna get this year. Congratulations, Listener Paul! Merry Christmas, and may God bless! (And thanks to Bowling Trophy for that great snowman photo.)