My wife and I were on our weekly sojourn through the grocery store on Saturday, Nov. 10, when I saw a display that didn’t necessary surprise me but a product on that shelf sent me into a state of momentary shock.
We’re a couple of weeks out from Thanksgiving, so it’s not a surprise to see Christmas displays everywhere. For crying out loud, some retail outlets began moving Christmas-themed items out onto the floor somewhere around Independence Day.
It’s the holiday that just seems to be creeping further and further up the calendar, to the point that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the displays at department stores just remain out on a year-round basis. They could get one of those old-style signs with the replaceable numbers or a digital display and on Dec. 26, they could just roll it over to read “Get Ready for Christmas 2014.”
Christmas Creep, as I have heard it called, has been with us for a long time, so I’ve gotten used to it-even if the sight of wreaths, trees and blinky lights before Labor Day is a bit tedious.
But there was something on that display at the local grocer that nearly sent me into a fit of apoplexy. I saw it. My brain took a moment to register it, as if the very concept of it were so foreign as to defy logic.
Christmas Peeps ….
Christmas … Peeps???
Yes, the ubiquitous little Easter candies with a half life akin to uranium-238-roughly 4.5 billion years if the scientific folks are to be believed-were introduced as a Christmas “treat” as early as 1960, according to Jennifer Sokolowsky on the brandchannel.com website. But somehow, I had managed to traverse the planet for more than 46 years before I saw my first Christmas Peep. I, like most people, had associated the sticky, gooey candy with the sugar coating as a spring thing, not as a Yuletide yummy.
The idea of Christmas Peeps is just … so … wrong.
I mean, if we start letting holiday fare cross-pollinate, where does it stop?
Do we start handing out Veteran’s Day Valentines? Flag Day fruitcake? Labor Day Yulelogs? Will we begin to hang Secretary’s Day stockings (on the wall, not the ones belonging to the actual secretaries-that could get, well, dicey)?
Could we be running headlong toward a future filled with President’s Day pumpkin pie? Kids dressing up to trick-or-treat their way around the neighborhood on Fat Tuesday? April Fool’s Day fireworks? May Day muffins?
Might there be Columbus Day egg hunts? Hollow chocolate turkeys for Thanksgiving?
I suppose if I had to, I could get used to all of these.
But I draw the line at Mother’s Day mistletoe. That’s just creepy.
Phil Watson was a writer and editor at several daily newspapers for more than 20 years and has a strong sense of holidays keeping their own identities.