4-ever X-mas

Perpetual Christmas comes to RalphsPerpetual Christmas has come to Los Angeles, leap-frogging right over that silly feast-based holiday, what's it called? You know, the one with the turkey and stuffing and pies made from big vegetables. Thanksgiving? OK, if you say so.

But how much profit can you squeeze from a single meal? No presents, so songs, not much in the way of decor. Maybe an uptick in wine sales or floral arrangements or those turkey-shaped soup tureens. On the whole though, Thanksgiving's a marketing bust.
ElfSo it's barely November and yet it's Christmas. (Check out the elf to the left, setting up the holiday toy display at our local Ralph's.) Not the religious Christmas, the one with Jesus and frankincense and myrrh, and not the pagan one that celebrates the winter solstice, and not even the secular Santa one, centered on food and drink and parties and presents.

It's corporate Christmas, the one with no soul. Retailers shove their hands so deep in your pockets, they give The Nutcracker new meaning. The lovely, evocative symbols of the season become Pavlovian commands. Green and red and gold: buy! Happy children: buy! Peace on earth: buy! It's not your season any more. You don't get to decide when you're ready for Christmas, you just get to find out when you're good and sick of it. This year, judging by the store windows around town, that moment will come long before your second slice of Thanksgiving pie.

More by Veronique de Turenne:
Previous blog post: Paint it punk
Next blog post: Girl Scout stew
Recently on Native Intelligence
New at LA Observed