Hey, It’s Christmas All Year! | HumorOutcasts

Hey, It’s Christmas All Year!

November 18, 2013

I saw my first Christmas commercial five days before Halloween this year.

Let me just go on record with this: I believe that Christmas doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving.  End of story.

Apparently it is vital that the holiday shopping message gets out as soon as possible.  You know, to give us time to remember that Christmas is coming.  ‘Cause we are very forgetful.  What’s that holiday at the end of the year?   You know, the one before New Years?  Never mind that my youngest has an app that tells her exactly how long until Christmas to the hour and second; an app that has been in use since February.

It wasn’t always this way.  In the olden days, back when we used to watch commercials on wood-burning televisions, Santa never made an appearance until the last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey had been recycled into some sort of mysterious breakfast hash.

But as time went by, Madison Avenue convinced Main Street to advertise earlier and earlier.  Oh, I understand why.  They are scared to death because now we DVR everything, binge watch our favorite shows on our phones, and scan right past the commercials, so only the heartiest of ads can sneak through.

When I was growing up, my Mom explained to my brother and me that Santa didn’t believe in giving gifts that we might have seen advertised on TV.  Now this was long before your Facebook post could be turned into an ad without your permission.  This was pre-internet. You know, when talking dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and we powered our cars with our feet.

No matter how much we wanted the Hot Wheels Automated City With Sig-Alert Action Track, or the Slimy Icky Growing Goop with Actual Live Bugs, or even the G.I. Joe Mechanized Tank With Real Exploding Artillery Shells . . . Santa never brought them.  Even if we were good.

So Christmas morning was always an adventure, because we never quite knew what would be under the tree.  Run, run, run . . . giggle, giggle, giggle.  “Hey Ward, what did you get?”  “I got a complete set of Make Your Own Lunch Brown Paper Bags, how about you?” “I got an Imagination Block.”  “It looks like a piece of wood.”  “Yeah, well . . . does not!”  “Does too!”

The thing is, no matter how early the commercials start, we will still show our basic humanity by waiting until the last minute to shop, and scorning those irritants who gleefully announce that they finished their Christmas shopping on the fifth of July.

Families all over the country will still enter into fierce negotiations over who is going where and bringing what for the Holidays.  “Why do we have to have Christmas in Los Angeles?  Why can’t we have it up here?”  “Because all of us live in L.A., and you’re the only one in Fresno!”  “I’m not coming if Jack is still dating that crack ho!”  “You’re coming all right, ’cause you’re bringing the rolls, damnit!”

The stress level will ratchet up enough to make me buy eggnog and bourbon in bulk.

But at some point, late in December, long after all the presents have been opened, when all the people banished from my kitchen on Christmas night have been allowed to return, when the pies have been properly “evened out,” and everyone is sitting around drinking wine, laughing and enjoying each other’s stories . . . well, that’s when I truly appreciate the holidays, no matter when the season starts.

Just like in the olden days.


Forrest Brakeman

Forrest is a former stand-up comedian, half of the ancient comedy team of Proops & Brakeman. After training with the Groundlings, he founded the improv comedy group Los Angeles Theatresports where he performed and served as Co-Artistic Director. Forrest has performed at The Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, The Punch Line and Cobb's Pub in San Francisco, and has appeared on The Tonight Show and The Sunday Comics. His essays have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy/The Mid, Boomer Cafe, the Los Angeles Daily News, NPR's "This I Believe," and the Chicago Cubs Yearbook (you heard me).

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15 Responses to Hey, It’s Christmas All Year!

  1. Kathy Minicozzi
    November 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    This is a great post, and welcome to the Funny F … er, Fun Website for Really Top Notch Humor Writers, most of whom are a little bit crazy in our own ways.

    By the way, the Viking Helmet in your photograph is a nice, eye-catching accessory.

    I’m with everyone here who says that Christmas doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving Day is over. And I don’t mean midnight of Black Friday. I don’t plan to really start Christmas until the Advent season starts, which, this year, is December 1. That’s an old German tradition. I’m not German, but that doesn’t count.

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 20, 2013 at 12:52 am

      Thank you, Kathy!

      I do like to accessorize.

      Maybe if your really nice, and you keep following old German traditions, Santa might bring you a shiny new Viking helmet too. I hope so!

  2. November 19, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Turning on Christmas lights before Thanksgiving should be a season of its own … rifle season.

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 19, 2013 at 1:12 am

      Never happens here. My Columbus Day lights come down, the Halloween lights go up. The Halloween lights come down, the Thanksgiving lights go up. The Thanksgiving lights come down . . . oh God I’m so very tired.

  3. November 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    No Christmas songs before Thanksgiving! The season starts around July 4th anymore lol

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Right on, Billy Dees! I will join that protest march any day!

  4. Deb Martin-Webster
    November 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Seeing that my birthday is December 26th I was born into a state of stress! Sadly I had to remind my own mother of my birthday. Imagination block, lol too funny! Welcome to HO Forrest!!

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      I feel you, Deb! My birthday is December 30. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “this is your Christmas and birthday present.”

      • Kathy Minicozzi
        November 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Pardon me for rubbing it in, but my birthday is February 22. When I was growing up, that was George Washington’s Birthday, a national holiday. I never had to go to school on my birthday!

  5. November 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Ending up in prison for a crime you don’t commit is less stress than the holidays. Do you think I take them too seriously? Great post and welcome aboard!

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you, and thank you for this opportunity!

      I think I would confess to anything to avoid addressing Christmas cards.

  6. November 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Your Mom has a brilliant idea to defeat Madison Ave — Santa dont bring no advertised items. Welcome.

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Got that right. The one year she relented, the advertised battery operated fire truck with flashing lights and working fire hose broke within 2 hours.

      And thanks!

  7. November 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I can’t believe you waited this late in the year to write about Christmas! Oh wait…it’s your FIRST HO article. Congratulations and welcome!

    • Forrest Brakeman
      November 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Mike! I am a bit of a procrastinator – I meant to write this last year.

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