Making an Exception

Gingerbread latte: more addictive than beer. At least for me.
Gingerbread latte: more addictive than beer. At least for me.

That I am an opinionated person should surprise no one. I mean, do people without opinions even start blogs? I kinda doubt it.


One of the things I feel very strongly about is that the Christmas season does not start until the day after Thanksgiving.

(Note: nowhere did I say my opinions are all on important things.)

Over the past few years, it seems like Christmas season creep has become more aggressive, to the point where I’m pretty sure we hadn’t even made it to October this year when I first saw decorations in stores, the tv advertisements were alarmingly pervasive by Halloween, and the all-Christmas-all-the-time radio stations seem to have started up on November 1.

It’s just too much – and I’m a person who loves Christmas. I spend most of every November reminding myself that loading up my holiday playlists and baking Christmas cookies come after the turkey. I do this because I know that starting too early erodes the specialness, that part of what makes the season so great is that it’s kind of short. Six weeks of cheer leaves you wanting more, in that giddy, childlike “why can’t it be Christmas all year” kind of way… whereas two or three months of it leave you humming inane commercials in your sleep and wishing it was Memorial Day already.

And that would be all I have to say about the Christmas season starting too early, if it weren’t for one thing. One stupid little thing that’s determined to make me a hypocrite: the gingerbread latte from Starbucks. These, too, have worked their way up the calendar: Last year’s ode to my love of the GBL was from December. (When, it seems, they were also a buck cheaper.) But I love them so much that I’ve been checking my principles at the door of the Dupont Circle Starbucks every morning this week – and not feeling a speck of guilt about doing so.

Can we agree to call this an exception, an anomaly, an outlier? Or am I taking the first step towards accepting Halloween as the new kick-off to the holiday season?

8 thoughts on “Making an Exception

  1. Joanne November 19, 2010 / 5:25 pm

    macy’s had their Christmas displays up in September. I swear, Congress needs to pass a law!

    I’ll give you your GBLs, if I can have my peppermint chocolates. But that’s it, young lady.

  2. krellpw November 19, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    I’m an even bigger crumudgeon. My birthday is the last day of Nov and I’ve always contended that my birthday is NOT part of the Christmas season. Of course, two kids later that seems to have faded and the tree goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Ah well.

  3. Common Loon November 19, 2010 / 6:32 pm

    I believe this is a rallying cry for your sister’s input (anyone hear from Eileen lately?), and from my sister, too. Alas, they can rationalize ANYTHING (boots, cleaning services, and a couple of others that my swiss-cheese brain cannot recall at this moment) eloquently. I agree with you completely on everything else about holidays in order!

    Retailers are counting on folks like you to boost their sales during the rough economy. If the pervading attitude is “it’s just the holidays, it will be over quickly, thus I can just splurge on this one thing” and the season is actually a couple of weeks longer, then those retailers, playing on your emotions and not your intelligence, will break even despite the recession. So Sarah, since not everyone can do it, please stimulate the economy out of love for your country!

  4. susan November 19, 2010 / 9:24 pm

    Sarah, Sarah. Your thinking is all twisted up. You aren’t celebrating Christmas by eating Gingerbread. Is it Easter whenever you eat an egg? St. Patrick’s Day when you wear green? You’re enjoying a flavor, not dropping down the chimney. Christmas is FAR from you! 🙂

  5. Eileen November 20, 2010 / 6:28 am

    Hi CL. It’s 5am and someones eating so I’m reading my blogs and typing one thumbed 🙂

    I can say no more than your sister said and I bow to the master!!

    My other thought is that it’s a seasonal product like pumpkin, or chic fil a’s peach shake. These days you can actually get anything anytime but retainers are smart. If they serve it for only a short season they can charge the addict a buck more 🙂

    How’s that for one thumb – left, no less??

  6. Mom November 20, 2010 / 9:15 am

    Oh Susan, I ** love, love ** your logic!!!! My lunch today will definitely be a “no-guilt” gingerbread latte :). I’ll ESP you from Starbucks drive-thru Sarah!!!

  7. Common Loon November 20, 2010 / 1:22 pm

    YEAH SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!!

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