Well, (never start an essay with well unless you are writing about an actual well) the Holiday Season has officially started. Do you want to know how I know? By the Christmas music I have been hearing at the local CVS drug stores for the past 11 weeks. That's how I know. When I hear Neil Diamond singing about Frosty the Red Nosed Reindeer while I peruse the shoelace selection in aisle 3, I know that October is almost half over and soon it will be Christmas time. It gives me a real jolly holiday feeling.
Because when I think of Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind is the great love that emanates from CVS corporate headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, pouring over me like harsh fluorescent light. And when I am bathed in fluorescent light, surrounded by overpriced Chinese child labor-made stuffed animals, overpriced wax-flavored holiday candy, bland greeting cards, and ten thousand commonplace, yet overpriced big-box drug store items, the first thing that comes to my mind is Christmas.
The truth is that, quite aside from its being crassly commercial, completely insincere and borderline sinister, this forced holidayesque atmosphere they are attempting to create with the help of Barbra Streisand, the Carpenters, Gene Autry and myriad other musical greats and near greats is totally unnecessary because it is far too early for the true CVS Pharmacy Christmas shopper.
Because, really, does anybody do their Christmas shopping at CVS or other such mega-pharmacies in the middle of autumn? No. The people who shop at CVS for Christmas are the ones who wait until 4PM on December 24th and rush over there and load their shopping carts with whatever they can grab: book lights and foot massagers, nose hair trimmers and coffee mugs, wind-up flashlights and wart remover. They then elbow aside all the other procrastinating losers, and make a beeline to the nearly picked-clean wrapping paper department, grabbing a few of the less ugly rolls of holiday paper. It doesn't even matter, at that point, what holiday is indicated on the paper; they'll take birthday paper, Easter paper, Arbor Day paper, whatever's left. Then it's to the long checkout lines, where they can still pick up a few CVS gift cards for their hard-to-shop-for loved ones, and out the door with their newfound treasure.
So why don't the good folks at the big building in Woonsocket, RI change their Christmas music policy and hold off playing it until Christmas Eve? That way, I think, it will be so much more meaningful to their desperate Christmas shoppers. And in the meantime, when I go in there for my daily flu shot, I won't have to listen to the stuff.