Christmas Time in the City

After enduring a month of unsettlingly pre-mature cheer, it’s finally allowed to be Christmas.

October 18: I walked into Duane Reade and gasped at the Christmas isle all set up and ready to go. Why do companies think this it the way to go?

xmastreecranesNovember 3rd: I was cold and went into Starbucks for a hot cocoa. (It’s impossible to avoid Starbucks in NYC, they are literally on ever corner- fortunate because they are essentially the New Yorker’s Public Restroom, internet hot spot, and place to take cover from inclement weather. Often I go into a Starbucks, do any of those aforementioned, and purchase nothing. They’re the man. But when I have a chocolate hankering that needs quenching, I purchase the Kid’s Hot Cocoa. Usually they don’t question my kid-less-ness, it is the perfect size, and the cheapest thing on the menu.) They were playing Christmas music. My poor barista, searching for some shred of logic, actually said this to me: “Tell me, does Christmas music this early make you want to buy things?” No. It makes me want to die. Or at least boycott places that play it. Want me to write to someone?

November 7th: A gigantic Christmas tree assaults me in the plaza outside work. It already looks a bit bedraggled as they set it up, woe to what it will look like when it’s actually near Christmas.

The morning after Halloween most every retail window I passed had magically changed over night to obtrusive HOLIDAY!! GIFTS!! I walked into Banana Republic and immediately turned around and walked out when high volume Christmas music bombarded my ears. This was on a 63 degree day. I can’t handle “Let it snow!” in warm sunny weather. Not on the east coast. I turned around, got an ice cream cone and ate it while strolling through the color changing leaves of Central Park.

Why aren’t consumers allowed to have Fall any more? Thanksgiving is completely forgotten, and I’m still mourning the loss of summer when Christmas assaults us. Yes, I feel assaulted. It’s horrible. I can’t appreciate the pretty lights, snow flakes, decorations- nothing. If they pop up before Thanksgiving all I can think is STOP MOVING SO FAST! I’M NOT READY FOR THIS YET!

Has it always been like this? I remember that post-Halloween was always Christmas-y because that was when we started learning the music in chorus, but I have no recollection of the rest of the world reflecting the season as well. Have they pushed “The Holiday Season” as early as possible this year in a hope to increase spending? Also, is this a New York phenomenon or were you graced with Santa hats and wrapping paper before you even put on your Halloween costume?


Fortunately, I am only a Scrooge before actual Christmas time (and given that, “Scrooge” isn’t even really an appropriate term- ah well). The morning after Thanksgiving I embraced the cheer. I was finally able to see the charm in the bedraggled Christmas tree outside my work, even. Yes, I spent “Black Friday” (don’t get me started on that consumer ridiculousness) working. Really I spent all Thanksgiving weekend working. Which was less than fun. But when I wasn’t working, I was Christmas caroling! See, I wasn’t kidding when I said I embraced the cheer. Embraced it and spread it. I went out with my roommates for maybe 4 hours and we ended up with over $250 in our hat. I suppose that makes me a professional cheer-spreader? Christmas caroling is so fun, it’s nice to have fun AND make money for a change!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

3 thoughts on “Christmas Time in the City

  1. I loathe the early assault of Christmas pre-Thanksgiving. Here the day of Halloween, the stores were clearing out all Halloween and Fall items and filling the shelves with Christmas goods. After 12 years in restaurants, I can not bear the muzac that the stores play-at volumes that can cause early hearing loss no less. The day after Thanksgiving, just like you, I’m ready to get into the spirit. Now, where are my Fourth of July decorations???….

  2. I was SO disappointed to go home to sane Yellow Springs where there *used* to be an ordinance prohibiting retail holiday displays prior to Black Friday. Not so in this day and age.

  3. Found your site through Googling and will read it again sometime as I have found cliches reassuring. It was cliches that made me want to go to NY the first time in 08 and come back last year. Yeah spot on with the statement that ‘They say every cliche is grounded in reality’ from my experience NY is a giant bundle of endless cliches every inch of the way every second of the day…

    I had my second visit to NY last November and managed to get it out of my system. What I mean by that is I spent only about a week in NY in 08 before heading off to DC and Chicago for the election that I had an idealised yearning to get back. Although I still loved it, I found it exhausting (2-3 weeks this time!), but I still love the idea of just walking the streets of Manhattan in random places around Midtown and like the previous time spent untold amounts in the Lower East Side…

    NY is out of my system in terms of being obsessed with getting back, as when you are actually there it is too exhausting, but I will always come back, planning to in 2011 on my way through to Europe for a holiday. NY is part of me now, kind of city that I know and am comfortable with visiting/passing through once every year or two…

    And I had only just gotten into NY again on the 3rd of November myself and for some weird reason I found Rockefeller Centre to be a magnet for me in the way you mention Starbucks, reason being is it is pretty much the only place in Manhattan that has public toilets, plus it is not too far a walk from the Apple Store on 5th Ave (free Internet)…

    So on topic my main NY Xmas moment was seeing the Xmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza even though it was coverered in scaffolding still… And was guttered that I missed Susan Boyle of all people performing in the Plaza a few days after I left 🙁

    And as someone not in America my only time I had heard of Black Friday was reading about a stampede at a Walmart or somewhere in Long Island in 08 where someone got trampled to death at one of the sales…

    No doubt I will be back, and give me a few more months and probably be wanting to and getting really idealised vision of NY again…

    Nick Archer
    New Zealand

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