It’s The Pitts: Christmas Creep
Readers may have heard of the “Christmas creep.”
No, it’s not me!
It refers to a trend by merchants who are putting out their Christmas crud earlier each year.
It creeps me out to see Santa Claus, LED tree lights and Christmas cards covered in snow when it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
There ought to be a law in which stores can’t sell cheap Chinese Christmas crud before the Fourth of July.
It’s been a year of attrition as far as our Christmas card list is concerned, and it’s a sign of the moral decay in this country, where fewer people are sending out traditional cards along with the requisite holiday letter bragging about all of their familial accomplishments, like new additions, subtractions and any new tattoos in the family.
Last year, the average American family sent out 28 Christmas cards, whereas my wife and I sent just over 100, but I’m sure this number will be greatly reduced this Christmas and it’s not because some of our elderly friends checked out early.
With the Post Office raising the price of stamps yet again to 66 cents and the shortage of paper and glitter making cards more expensive, one really has to cut out the waste on their list.
So far, it’s been a beans-and-weiners kind of year here at the Pitts’ place, and when the cost of sending a Christmas card exceeds a buck apiece, we have to ask ourselves if everyone on our lists are really that card-worthy.
I notice there aren’t as many Hallmark stores around any more. I think it’s better not to send anything at all than to send out cards bought at a dollar store.
What does it say about your friendship? That you’re sending a card only because you expect to get one in return? If this is the case, shouldn’t there be an intervention where both parties agree to cease and desist sending out tidings of great joy?
I think the day is fast approaching when traditional Christmas cards will be thrown on the trash heap of history, and it’s not only because the Post Office is so busy delivering Amazon stuff so they don’t have time to get the first-class mail out in a timely manner.
In their stead, one will get a Christmas e-mail or text.
But, a Christmas e-mail doesn’t say Merry Christmas as well as those wonderful Christmas photo cards we used to get and put on the door of the refrigerator with a magnet.
My wife saves those photo cards in scrapbooks for future reference when we’re trying to figure out if so and so is on their third or fourth marriage or if one of the kids is a different sex than they were a year ago.
In years past, 93 percent of all Christmas cards were purchased by women, but I insist on having a say because sending them out to customers of my syndicated column can be tricky.
I don’t want to send one that’s so big I have to pay extra postage because what does it say to the person who receives it? That I’m getting rich at their expense? Then again, if I send out one too chintzy they’ll think I really am a greedy tightwad.
Taking people off of your list because you haven’t heard from them in ages can be tricky too, because sure enough, the day before Christmas, you’ll get a card from them and you don’t have time to retaliate.
I have some friends – and they know who they are – who solve this problem by waiting until April to send out their Christmas cards.
But, what does this say about a friendship? That they like you too, but not so much it didn’t stop them from waiting until after Christmas to buy their cards at half-price before expressing their undying love?
This Christmas I have a couple suggestions on how to save money.
It’s NOT tacky to recycle those free cards sent out by charities begging for money, even though you didn’t give them one red cent.
Another option is making your own cards like you did in Kindergarten.
As for me, I have the added option of wishing everyone Merry Christmas in my column. Perhaps my customers might even fancy it up with some bells and holly just to show how well we’re all doing.