The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 17, 2013

Christmas songs before Thanksgiving?

By Budd McLaughlin

— “Silver bells, silver bells.

“It’s Christmas time in the city …”


Stop the music!

It’s not Christmas time in the city.

It’s not even Thanksgiving time in the city.

Just because we got a cold blast of winter air last week, that doesn’t mean it’s time for the stores to start cranking up their Christmas music.

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch …”

No, I’m not trying to be a Grinch and steal Christmas from the Whos or anyone.

There is a time and place for everything — including Christmas music. And that time is Christmas — not the Veterans Day weekend.

Heck, I’ve still got some Halloween leftovers so I know it’s too early to deck the halls.

Now, I’m as big a Christmas music fan as anyone. And, yes, I listen to the all-Christmas music station and I have my Mannheim Steamroller, Rat Pack and Bing Crosby CDs.

But I wait until after Thanksgiving before I tune in.

“You better watch out, you better not cry,

“You better not pout, I’m telling you why …”

To me, Christmas season always started when Santa came to town in the annual Christmas parade, which was usually the morning of Thanksgiving — like the Macy’s parade — or the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as in my hometown.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving now is turning into Black Friday minus-1.

Have you seen the stories and ads that the big chain stores are now opening Thanksgiving night?

That’s when we all kick back, loosen our belts and slip off into a tryptophan-induced nap — not fighting the hordes, trying to get the latest electronic gizmo.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,

“Everywhere you go …”

We won’t even begin to go into the Christmas decorations and displays that seem to push the Halloween costumes and decorations off the shelves and windows — sometimes before the little ghosts and princesses ring the doorbells.

You used to be able to get some breathing time between Halloween and Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

Nowadays the stores are scrambling to be the first with the candy canes, wreaths and fake trees.

But there is always hope …

“Silent night, holy night.

“All is calm …”

Budd McLaughlin is managing editor of The News Courier.