Saturday, November 28, 2009


Stan Freberg was on the money, so to speak, when he recorded "Green Christmas." It was a scathing denunciation of the commercialization of Christmas in story form with cynical adaptation of seasonal songs and hymns. When radio stations began playing it, merchants forced a boycott of the recording. They did a good job of it.

The season used to start, as I recall, after Santa Claus passed Macy’s at the end of the famous Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. He would give out with the laughter, wave at everybody and it was time to hit the stores. I think I once took the train down to F.A.O. Schwartz, the toy store, but never to Macy’s. That’s been a while.

At one time, FDR moved Thanksgiving Day up one week to give the merchants and extra seven days for Christmas shopping. The electorate did not like that and Franklin was smart enough to listen; turkeys were safe for another week after that. I’m sure Eleanor had something to do with it, as well.

One time, I was down in Freeland (the highest point in PA, by the way) and, strung across the main street, was a holiday banner – at the end of September.

Usually, I will try to notice when the first Christmas commercials come on tv. Often, they are not obvious: Sears might have some tool, some new hair dryer, some kids’ thing you never noticed before. Then it starts kicking in and fat men in red suits appear with just the right thing for husband, wife, kids and the family pet.


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