Monday, December 31, 2007

EOY for MTGW 2007

Hey All,

I really fell down on the job this year with this blog. Sorry about that. Just after my last post, I had to suddenly go up North to take care of my folks, was there for about a week...

Then my appendix exploded.

It's taken me a surprisingly long time to heal. You just don't realize how much of your stomach muscles and such you use constantly.

So, this is the last post for the 2007 Season. Check back in September 2008! Of course, probably August or GASP July!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OK, shopping may now begin

I was poking around the Amazon.com site this morning, updating my wishlist, and found the following funny:




NO, I'm not texasy today, it's COLD here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh THIS IS TOO EARLY

I took SHG to the eye doctor Monday. I saw this cute little guy there:

And this pretty tree:


But here is the problem: It was November 19, a full three days before our EARLY THANKSGIVING!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Huh?

So we all know what Black Friday is. Good. No worries on that.

But Cyber Monday? I first thought it was when guys spend the day surfing for porn in peace after being drug all over God's creation to shop over the days before.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Well, if God says so...


Do you think that this Church on 20th St @ ~ Yale got a telegram from God that it was OK to hang that pagan wreath up there by the 17th of November - over a month before Christmas?
This one really chapped my [][][] (ok, my behind b/c I now that my friend R's Mom now reads this blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oh this is ridiculous

From YOY:

Santas in Sydney, Australia have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women. Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maybe it is a US Gov't Conspiracy

I am SORRY but 11/15 is TOO early for THIS:

as usual, just a little early


Today I saw the first Christmas decorations of the season. Ooops, sorry, Holiday decorations. Over at some-thing-or-another plaza-square-trace at BW8 & Memorial. Highland Village? Whee. I was driving and did not have a chance to snap a pic, so you will have to take my word for it.

This is a FULL 10 days before Halloween. HELLO???


UPDATE! PIC!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hey Look! Christmas Stuff in October!


Whodda thunk?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

First sighting of Christmas!! YAY!!!

Thanks to SHG for the First Sighting of Christmas at Kroger!!


Only 2 1/2 more months of it!! I am so glad that Halloween is not eclipsing Christmas, but I still do not understand why they do not put Christmas stuff out first?

Monday, September 10, 2007

As always, a little too soon

It is definitely too early for Christmas music. At least for listening to it.

This popped up in the iTunes store today. Well whee.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MTW 2007 Has begun!!!!


Over two months before Halloween (August 29th!), it has all begun!

Photo shamelessly grabbed from Off the Kuff.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gift those who matter most.

That was the subject of an email from Red Envelope this morning. Now, while Red Envelope has great gifts for Moms, gift is NOT a verb.

What I found funny about the subject line is that gift is the word for poison in German. Heh.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What is it?


Seen at Target on 11/1/06

Is it a Halloween leftover, or a shopper caught in the Thanksgivoweenmas commercial vortex? I cannot tell.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I don't get it. And I do.

When I was a kid back before electricity and the steam engine came to be, not a whole lot of decorating was done for Halloween. People with kids and people without them but that liked them would toss up a few things here and there, and occasionally somebody would go all out to make things spooky for trick-or-treaters.

Now, however, the day really has been merged into the Thanksgiving-Christmas season. So many people put up lights and more and more elaborate displays (probably a competition between neighbors not to be outdone). It just amazes me. I don't get it.

But I do get it. It's fun to get into the spirit of the holidays, and Hell, why not? So people do.

But it is still irritating. Fully 1/4 of the year is basically preparation for the holidays and the holidays themsleves, and you are just bombarded with it starting in September. It's so numbing after a while that the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas are just lost in the frenzy. And I hate that. I really do.

But not as much as I hate Condi Rice.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's too fucking early people.


October 23rd, Highland Village, near the Galleria. Feh. Can we please have Halloween at least be over before we put a big red bow on every freakin' thing in sight?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

12 Houston malls already in holiday spirit

The holiday season is coming early to Houston-area malls.
 
Woo Hoo!!!! Can I take my jack-o-lantern with me to watch the new 12-ft plasmas???
 
Of course, by early, they mean even more sickeningly early...
 
Thank God I hate malls.
 
But not as much as I hate Condi Rice.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Holiday Season has begun! Yay!

Ah yes, that three month period of October 1 - New Years Day, when we are bombarded and suffocated with holiday commercialization, has officially begun! I have to admit that the first sign was a few days when I returned from living in France to be welcomed by pumpkins. But, I let that go.

Yesterday it was a billboard for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Here in Houston. Huh? I used to go to this every year as a kid. Some how, I just do not see how it could ever, ever, be the same in the Hobby Center. The organs alone at Radio City are key to the whole experience. And then the tree outside at Rockefeller Center. How can there be more than one set of Rockettes? Anyway, I am befuddled. I think maybe it should be the Hobby Centre Christmas Thange for Lakewood Church (cough).

But, the true sign that the Merrythanksgivoween season is upon us is the appearance of the dreaded, tacky, white and orange lights wrapped around the trunks of unsuspecting, innocent, trees. UGH.

So, here we go! Check back now and then for more venting, especially once Halloween has passed!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

to close the holiday season out


but fear not! it's already Valentines Day overload time! watch this space!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

santas against commercialization

From Reuters:

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Forty drunken Santas rampaged through central Auckland, stealing from stores and assaulting security guards, the New Zealand Herald reported on Sunday, in a protest against the commercialization of Christmas.

Police said some of the Santas threw beer bottles, one tried to climb the mooring rope of a cruise ship and a security guard was punched during the fracas.

"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda told the Herald, which reported the Santas also attacked a Christmas tree.

The event organizer, Alex Dyer, had warned the antics would only stop when someone was arrested, said the Herald, which linked the incident to "Santarchy."

Santarchy (www.santarchy.com) and online encyclopedia wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) record protests going back around 10 years in the United States, with participants marking Christmas in anti-commercial manner involving street theater, pranks and public drunkenness.

Police said identification was a key issue as they tried to sort out which of the 40 men and women had done what.

"With a number of people dressed in the same outfit, it was difficult for any witnesses to confirm the identity of who was doing what," Senior Sergeant Matt Rogers told Reuters.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the perfect card


courtesy of SHG

Friday, December 09, 2005

shoppin' for Christ

over on Very Opioniated...

Putting the "Christ" Back Into Christmas.

Monday, December 05, 2005

commercialization in relatiation to the evil liberal plot to destroy christmas

if you have not already, read this over at SHG's.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

frost on the pointsettias (x-posted on txyankee & merrythanksgivoween)

This morning we had a first frost here in Houston, reminding us that even if the days are in the 60s and 70s, we are definitely in Autumn. It was not a hard freeze or a killer frost - just low lying gullies, and north-facing roofs - only surfaces not warmed by the sun the afternoon before. But a frost nonetheless. October, November, and most of December are great times of the year here, with nearly perfect weather. These cold mornings watching the pups running out on the bayou, with all the dew splashing up around them like water from puddles, reminds me of fall back home. On the other hand, you can put poinsettias outside here for some striking displays of color during the holidays, and they're fine unless there is frost, in which case you just put them in the garage or cover them with a sheet. Anyway, fall is here, December 1 is Thursday, and the holidays will be permitted to begin, in my mind, then. In the mean time, I need to enjoy what is left of the two weeks of Autumn.

Friday, November 25, 2005

let the decorating begin in earnest

Well, the home-decorating for Christmas has begun here in Houston, both inside and out. When I was a kid, about 135 years ago, lights went up outside about 1-2 weeks before Christmas, on the 2nd Sunday before, or the 3rd Sunday of Advent. The tree went up that same Sunday or the next one, on 4th Advent. Here, things seem to be a little accelerated by people, which bothers me. While walking the dogs out on the Bayou today, I could already see people's trees through their windows, and there are already houses with their lights up. So, is this an extended period of veneration, or dilution of the season?

From a practical standpoint, if you do not buy your tree here by Dec. 5, you are not going to get one, or you will get a Charlie Brown Tree. But that does not mean you have to put it up right away - toss it in a bucket of water in the back yard! I think perhaps some of it stems from our warmer weather, and the need for the decorations to make us feel festive, to get us going. When it is not cold you don't have the same warm-fuzzies for this time of year imparted by Curier and Ives and the goal of a White Christmas being a great Christmas ingrained into the American psyche by the northern tier of the country and our earliest European ancestors and modern cultural cousins. So, I guess I can understand it. But that does not mean I like it... it just feels to early to have my tree and lights up today, 25 November.


And then there's crap like this, spotted by SHG. Ugh.

Monday, November 21, 2005

leveraging for Christ

The radio station KSBJ in Houston, known locally as the God Listens station, generally drives me insane with their self-righteous attitude towards the Christification of the world, or at least Texas, rather than humble evangelism.
 
They're going to be playing all Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, like a couple of other stations. Now the other stations will have it all straight up Frosty, Bing, and (that bitch!)  Anne Murray too, with lots of commercials to rake in the dough (not the flaky pie-crust kind). KSBJ on the other hand is doing it as evangelism, mixing it up with classics, contemporary, and I hope true ecclesiastical, though I could not figure that out on their website. Anyway, all with no commercials. KSBJ is listener-funded, so they can manage it. Good for them. They may drive me nuts, but at least their basic capitalization off of Christmas is spiritual. Now, those new listeners and true disciples of Christ they reel in will hopefully donate to the station, so it's a pretty good marketing strategy for the survival of their "ministry".
 
So, how are they rake in the converts? By having current listeners spread the word of non-stop Christmas music with no commercials is capitalizing off of the over commercialization of Christmas.
 
Twisted, huh?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Christmas Kudzu

While in Calgary this past week for work, I stayed at the Palliser. It is the oldest big hotel in Calgary, the old Canadian Pacific Rail hotel, and really a grand, beautiful hotel. I love staying there, we have a great rate, and the place is just awesome for business travel.

Anyway.

When I arrived, the had a few decorations up for Christmas, all very tasteful. And over the five days, it just grew and and grew and grew. When leaving this morning, pretty much every nook, cranny, ledge, arch, doorway, etc., was swaddled in greenery. It was like it was Christmas Kudzu. All very tasteful, but a bit much.

In Calgary all the Christmas as decorations are very tasteful and wintry - rather than gaudy with mechanical hip-swinging raunchy Santas.

An observation: I guess they start at seemingly random times, without the marked day of Thanksgiving that we have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

not so in your face here in Calgary

I am up in Calgary Canada for the week, and of course all the Christmas stuff is out here as well. But very tasteful and understated. The store window displays are all more wintry than Christmas-like, and you don't hear much Christmas music yet. However, I have not been to the big discount stores and such, so who knows what's up there. But from what I have seen, it makes you feel more like a special time of year is coming than it's time to go shop and compete.
+1 for Calgary.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Christmas as a weapon

Read this great post by SHG. The wingnuts are on the prowl, politicising, again.

I guess it's not all about good cheer and love of your fellow man, but rather ensuring that all the associated tchotcki is marketed correctly.

too early for Christmas lights


OK, Pizza Roma in Houston gets a major ding and WTF for having their Christmas lights out and on TODAY, NOVEMBER 10TH! I know you cannot see shit in the pic, it is from my phone so it sucks...

more room for presents!


These odd things that look like a pine-needle vortex more than anything else were originally designed for specialty stores to display delicate ornaments using a minimum of floor space. When I first saw these things hanging from the ceiling in a couple of stores over the last couple of years, I thought they were interesting. My ex wanted to do one that way just to do something different...I was neutral on that - sure, why not? Anyway, we never did anything about it.

But now, from the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog:

The 7-Foot Upside-Down Pre-Lit Christmas Tree: Evoking a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas, this unique 7' pre-lit fir is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the accumulation of presents underneath.

Well, if that does not get my panties in a twist, nothing does. I need a sedative.

Discuss.

Monday, November 07, 2005

looks like Philly may win on early Christmas Music

By way of reddevil... Christmas music at Super Fresh! October 23! Yay!
Read here...need a free password...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

holiday greenery a little, no, a lot early


Today at kroger...faux greenery over the door...grumble grumble...the fact that it was unseasonably warm did not help...grumble grumble...

I wager that the Christmas Trees arrive at the store on 12 November.

Friday, November 04, 2005

thoughts on gift giving

not my thoughts, but they run frighteningly in parallel...

no, its not your imagination

By way of Rachel from the Houston Chronicle comes this:
 
No, it's not your imagination. The advertising and marketing assault that marks the beginning of the holiday buying season has already begun.
 
Christmas catalogs are already filling mailboxes, and Wal-Mart's holiday marketing campaign was in place several weeks sooner than usual.

It may be the earliest jump on the season ever.

"Everybody is looking at the stressed-out consumer, and they're pushing the panic button. It's never happened this soon," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz and Associates, a national retail-consulting and investment-banking firm in New York.

YAY.

catalogs

I like to shop from catalogs, and order on the Internet. It keeps me away from the stores and the hordes. As a result, every week during the year I get about 1 catalog in the mail, +/-.

Then Sept 15 arrives, and there's a spike.

Then Oct 1 arrives are there are more.

And Nov 1, well, forget it, if I do not check the mail every other day my poor little mailbox is shoved so full of catalogs for the holidays that I cannot find my real mail. This is not such a big problem anymore now that most of my bills are electronic and such. But still, think of all that wasted paper as I get more than one of some catalogs, and some new ones that I have never even heard of, and then some that are just CRAP.

The one that got to me, though, came in August. I tossed it, but should have kept it for this blog: All things Christmas for the house. Oh geez, the entire country is still baking in the summer heat, isn't that a bit early to be buying faux snow and nutcrackers?

we love our customers

SHG made this interesting comment on the Christmas/Holiday cards one receives from businesses. His post was about the ones your insurance company or doctor sends to you. I am thinking about the business-to-business ones. Something interesting is a trend to send out Thanksgiving cards, although I am not sure what the motivation is:
  • Don't piss off non-Christians by sending a Christmas card
  • Don't piss off Christians by sending a Holiday card
  • Get your card in the hands of the customer before everybody else's cards begin to arrive.
I am inclined to think the last one, which from a marketing standpoint is not necessarily a bad idea. I have to deal with selecting the cards for our company, and of course a goal is to make yours stand out and have the current or potential customer be reminded that you do indeed exist - which is why we send one out that is a New Years card (in early December) than unfolds to a calendar of the coming year.

On the other hand with Thanksgiving cards, here we go, extending the calendar time of the holidays, muting them more and more...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

frozen hamburgers are a few of my favorite things

G-Hopp reported this evening that Christmas Carols were to be heard over at Kroger. Yay.

Hello?? The pumpkins are not even rotted yet, and now in addition to seeing all the Christmas stuff for sale a solid 6+ weeks in advance, we get the music? Does not occur to anybody that we become completely dulled by it all after a while? That we lose whatever meaning is even left in the holiday?

Naughty on you Foster Wheeler!!


Yesterday afternoon I thought I saw something disturbing on the front of the Foster Wheeler building near my office: Giant Christmas wreaths.

The problem: It was Halloween.

It's a little early for that, isn't it?? I seem to remember Thanksgiving as a point at which commercial buildings would decorate.

Foster Wheeler gets coal in her pantyhose for jumping the tasteful decoration gun.

Some old links on Texas Yankee that are relevant here

the inspiration for the title of this blog...

merrythanksgivoween: the beginning

This is the first post to my little blog that has one purpose: To rant about the over commercialization of Christmas and how the sentiments around this time of year - not specific to Christiandom alone - are well on their way to being pretty much lost. It drives me absolutely nuts.