Unseasonable Conditions for Christmas

By Art Buchwald
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving Day is dead as a doornail. We now have to get on with Christmas. We can't pass Go. We have to stop at Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart and Target. The order comes from on high. We have to spend like there's no tomorrow. And even if there is a tomorrow, we still have to spend more.

Everyone -- almost everyone -- is going to have a great Christmas, except possibly Donald Rumsfeld. He's not going to be able to get into the Pentagon City parking lot. But we can't win them all.

The question is, how do we know that Christmas is that important to all of us, even if we don't celebrate the birth of our Lord?

We know it because we've been told that, even if there's no Santa Claus, there is still a Christmas. Santa Claus will be waiting for you at Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. It doesn't matter if you've been naughty or nice, as long as you spend some money.

The secret of a great economy is how much money we will spend to make it a better economy than last year. Whether you're in the upper class, middle class or lower class, you're still expected to spend your share, either on toys for your children, gifts for yourself, or presents given out of guilt.

To make life easier, department stores open at 6 a.m. and stay open until midnight. How did this all come about? How is it that Bloomingdale's is running our lives? This is a good question.

If I had my way, I'd skip exchanging presents for Christmas -- presents I don't want and no one wants to give me. There are only so many neckties one man can wear at a time.

Every year it's the same thing. A new generation has grown up and they're watching every commercial on television that money can buy.

Is Christmas a good thing or a bad thing? It is something.

Obviously some people want to do away with Christmas. They're the same people who want to do away with the manger and Saks Fifth Avenue window decorations. They're the same people who won't even walk down Fifth Avenue and look at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The big question is, how do you avoid another Christmas at the very moment that the economy is going downhill?

The question is, what good is a mall if no one will go to it? What good is Internet shopping if you can't order on it? Where is it all taking us?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be a Christmas shopper. You don't have to be a member of a union to work for Wal-Mart.

Does this mean our boys will be home for Christmas? We all hope so. But we're all going to have a Christmas, whether they come home or not. No matter where you are at this very moment, or what you're doing, we will deal with the holiday, even if the Shiites and the Sunnis don't.

What are we doing over in Iraq in the first place?

2006Tribune Media Services

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