Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Designated Christmas-Free Zones

Because we all need a breather from 'holiday cheer'
  (+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

It seem that starting around right after Halloween, the malls start filling up with Christmas decorations, everyone is playing Christmas music, and we all, for some reason, have to be filled with 'holiday cheer'

I think we'd all enjoy Christmas a little more if it wasn't pushed down our throats at every corner.

Obviously, it would be implausible to ban Christmas in its entirety, rather, I propose specially designated 'Christmas-Free Zones'(CFZs) where people who can go to escape the rampant consumerism of it all.

Sometimes, you just need a breather... if not just to refresh the palate.

EXAMPLES:

CFZ restaurants will vow not to play Christmas music, or force the waitstaff to wear silly santa/elf hats

CFZ grocery stores will vow not to try to push 'seasonal delights' upon unsuspecting shopper, or trick you into buying anything resembling a fruit cake

CFZ malls will not have any decorations, animitronic Santa Clauses, nor will they admit shopping mothers wearing Christmas tree sweatershirts which light up.

etc etc.

genevieve, Dec 05 2003

Guantanamo Bay http://www.redcross...ection.asp?id=18992
Impossible to ban Christmas entirely? I suspect not. There won't be much celebrating here. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]

Recipe for Blissy http://www.deliaonl...es/r_0000000907.asp
(Except slosh in more spirits than she says.) No one should have to live without mulled wine. [squeak, Oct 04 2004]

Skipping Christmas http://www.amazon.c...99-8156646?v=glance
John Grisham novel about a couple who decide to... well, you know. It's pretty funny. I hear there's a movie version coming out. [samk, Oct 04 2004]

The true meaning of Christmas....... http://www.e-sheep.com/Saturnalia/
.....or, how I'd rather celebrate the holidays. [normzone, Nov 16 2004]

[link]






       I voted + before even reading the idea. That's how much I like it.
Worldgineer, Dec 05 2003
  

       bah humbug... (+)
neilp, Dec 05 2003
  

       Bun for you [+]
Letsbuildafort, Dec 05 2003
  

       A jolly good bun for you! +
Tiger Lily, Dec 05 2003
  

       I've been to the west country too, couldn't agree more with [tuska] :)
neilp, Dec 05 2003
  

       Turkey, anyone ?
neilp, Dec 05 2003
  

       [tsuka], for some, that can be a transcending experience.
Tiger Lily, Dec 05 2003
  

       Hey, not banning Christmas. I'm just offering the option to escape it for a little bit to cleanse the palate.... without having to leave the country. Repeat. Without having to leave the country. Repeat again, in case you missed the first time... without having to leave the country.
genevieve, Dec 05 2003
  

       Don't decorate. Stay home.
waugsqueke, Dec 05 2003
  

       Antarctica seems the more logical choice...plus the added benefit of being the furthest you can be from the North Pole.
Overpanic, Dec 06 2003
  

       Iran is probably a good bet. But then you'd probably get tired of that whole Muslim thing after a fashion.
waugsqueke, Dec 06 2003
  

       A CFZ pub, too, please - again with the stupid-Santa-hat-wearing staff! For a name, I suggest "Bar Humbug", fnarr fnarr.
friendlyfire, Dec 06 2003
  

       Try the North pole. Contrary to popular belief, it's not very Christmassy at all.
NickTheGreat, Dec 06 2003
  

       I gave this idea a croissant but I seriously doubt that grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants will say "no" to the most commercial time of the year. Consumism will never be highest than at christmas time and that consumism is what keeps those establishments alive.
Pericles, Dec 06 2003
  

       Consumism be damned...it'll keep the communists happy. And you don't want a bunch of disgruntled communists on your hands now, do you?
Overpanic, Dec 06 2003
  

       By the way, welcome to the bakery. Also Merry.....oops! (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Dec 06 2003
  

       God bless us, every fucking one. Right in the mouth!
Eugene, Dec 06 2003
  

       I love Christmas and don't much understand those who don't. Sorry. -
bristolz, Dec 06 2003
  

       Welcome back, bris.   

       I like this idea. May never happen so for that I shall have to get one of those helmet music thingies to get that music out of my head. +
sartep, Dec 06 2003
  

       bris: I think it has a lot to do with being single. And/or non-Christian, of course.
DrCurry, Dec 06 2003
  

       I'm single, but I live with a great big family of two parental units, three larvae (a 6-year-old male specimen, a 9-year-old male specimen, and a 12-year-old female specimen) and two canine entities kept for some kind of unidentified purpose--I think they're here to take the blame for flatulence. Their own flatulence is certainly strong enough.   

       This assembly celebrates Christmas every year with great fanfare, and I enjoy it very much. We decorate the tree with plain white lights, popcorn, cranberries, and ornaments--no chasing, blinking, colored (there is no racial slur hidden in the use of this word, and substitute "crystal" for white if you want) lights. Rather retro. Tasteful. A couple of red bows on the front door lamps. A visit to the Festival of Lights maybe.   

       None of this Las Vegas shit. It's the gaudiness and crass commercialism of the season that bothers me the most. Also carolers that couldn't carry a tune if you gave it to them in a paper bag. But nobody does that anymore since the neighborhood kids got together with their slingshots and BB guns one and had a little target practice.
Eugene, Dec 06 2003
  

       For Christmas, my family only lit candles. One for each of it's eight magical nights.   

       Oh, wait.
Overpanic, Dec 07 2003
  

       Hey, {{{bris}}} you have certainly *made* my christmas.   

       missed you very much my dear.
po, Dec 07 2003
  

       I wouldn't mind Christmas so much if decorations weren't put up nearly 4 months in advance.
thumbwax, Dec 07 2003
  

       personally, I detest Christmas - I would be very happy to see the instigation of these zones.   

       Christmas is not about the birth of Christ - it's about money. I don't care either way as I'm not remotely religious but I would welcome a sense of realism.   

       Christmas is no longer a single day event ... it goes on for 'kin months.   

       and [neilp], I resent the "bah humbug" retort that you've posted and often follows ... it's not a case of humbugiouity [unabubba'll check that one].
jonthegeologist, Dec 07 2003
  

       how charming of you [unabubba]
hazel, Dec 07 2003
  

       you see [unabubba], i was noting that you tend to correct other people's spelling and grammar as you appear to be an intelligent and erudite individual. That is why I added a tongue in cheek reference to you in my annotation.   

       then you go spoil it all by being offensive.   

       and I am offended. don't believe I warranted that kind of response. I would welcome a little editing, [unabubba]
jonthegeologist, Dec 07 2003
  

       Looks to me like UB was also exploring the charms of the English language, in this case for brevity. I am sure there was no more insult intended in his words than yours.
DrCurry, Dec 07 2003
  

       [DrCurry] ... charming choice of words.
jonthegeologist, Dec 07 2003
  

       Oh come on, who has thin skin then? Mr Bubba is only being honest.
The Kat, Dec 07 2003
  

       reensure, your suggestion is right in line with my own ideals. I've long wanted for my family to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas day serving meals to the homeless or to residents in nursing homes. And I would do this very thing if I could orchestrate the logistics before well meaning plans are made within the extended family *on my behalf*... It just never occurs to me to follow up on my idea before school starts every fall.
Tiger Lily, Dec 07 2003
  

       Commercialism has gone to far as it is. All commercial venues should be CFZ's if for no other reason then that they are taking advantage of people's religion. Between commercialism and the media they are powerful enough a force that they could invent their own holiday (i.e. Sweetest Day) if they cared about being moral and making mad cash money.
Space-Pope, Dec 07 2003
  

       Maby just make a law about WHEN they can start the mess? Mabe 2-3 weeks in advance ( to provide time for their treasured sales )
my-nep, Dec 07 2003
  

       I agree with a lot of the ano.'s that Christmas is a good-natured holiday but has been commercialized into oblivion. Since various class action lawsuits seem to be the trend recently (people suing fast food restaurants for making them fat, people suing gun makers because some people misuse them) we should put together a little comity to sue malls that celebrate Christmas to early, because suicide rates increase around holidays. Or organize some flash mobs. But I’d think this idea would be a hit if implemented.
thelambs, Dec 07 2003
  

       [unabubba] happy as larry. cheers.
jonthegeologist, Dec 08 2003
  

       But just how happy is Larry? I mean, he always seems to be miserable at this time of year. Something to do with the over-commercialism of Christmas, I believe.
PeterSilly, Dec 08 2003
  

       [petersilly] last time I bumped into Larry, he seemed relatively content ... save for the audible grumbles which tend to get louder the closer to Christmas it gets ;)
jonthegeologist, Dec 08 2003
  

       do you all know each other? have a unwittingly stumbled upon a club of which i am not a member? just curious.
genevieve, Dec 08 2003
  

       What Bris said.
What Thumb said
And especially what Po said.
  

       Some of us do know each other, genevieve, either through introducing friends and relations to the halfbakery, through exchanging correspondence, or occasionally through meeting up for a wet picnic. But anyone can join in. It's a place where genuine goodwill can be found most of the year, if you know how to find it.
egbert, Dec 08 2003
  

       Incidentally is there any non-Christmas oriented bakery meetings going on soon?
silverstormer, Dec 08 2003
  

       I'd like to see the CFZ taped off with some official checkered tape as used by the police. This will let Christmas-cheer-proponents know they are entering dangerous territory if they want to haul yuletide over the line.   

       >:o)
not_only_but_also, Dec 08 2003
  

       Grinches!! No I say... MORE tinsel.. MORE blinking wreaths.. MORE constipated looking plastic reinder!!!   

       I'm sure you get the idea. This one gets a fishbone from me. I've got fairy lights on my balcony this year and I bought a 6 foot pine on sunday. I'm indulging in christmas cheer and loving it.
madradish, Dec 08 2003
  

       "Gerald was doomed from the moment he donned his plastic reindeer suit that fine, sunny morning in December..."
Detly, Dec 09 2003
  

       [jtg] //Christmas is not about the birth of Christ //   

       Too right it ain't. It's the pagan Yule festival celebrating the winter solstice and the return of the sun which has been hijacked by the christians, just like they hijacked all the other good festivals (e.g. Spring fertility festival -> Easter. All Souls, driving out evil spirits -> All Hallows/Saints etc.) and pretended they made them up.
squeak, Dec 09 2003
  

       Croissant. I wouldn't mind the commercialism at all, you know, if folks were just honest about the real Christmas message - take, give, drink, eat, party, buy, consume, consume, consume! A way to let off some steam at the darkest time of the year (here in Scotland, anyway)? Pretty lights and cheesy songs? A chance for shallow maudlin sentimentality to temporarily alleviate the grimmer realities we have to cope with on most other days? Formal (perhaps obligatory) expressions of mutual appreciation made in the medium of Neat Shit given and received? Plain old sybaritic, hedonistic pleasure? I have absolutely no problem with any of that. It may be obscenely self-indulgent, with all that vacuous *Good Will* about as profound and lasting as an ecstasy high, but, hey, I'm no puritan about these things. If folks want a wee endorphin fix they can go right ahead and shoot it up. Just don't give me any of that self-serving Blessed-Child-Is-Born piety shite, please. I'll die for me own sins, thank you very much.   

       Anyhoo, what I have managed to find, to my great delight usually, is the odd pub here and there where the only Christmas song you'll hear is Fairytale Of New York. Thank fuck.
Guy Fox, Dec 09 2003
  

       After being a generous minded check-out chick I have to agree with everything reensure has said.   

       No matter how much you like christmas, hearing little drummer boy twice an hour really plays on the nerves. Also the budget to decorate a giant store, (especially a grocery store, where it's not really going to change your holiday spending, you're going to eat what you're going to eat no matter how much tinsel there is) is ridiculous. It's way better off going to charity. Who can honestly say they went into a store and decided to buy something based on the quality of their christmas decorations.
sputnik, Dec 09 2003
  

       //Who can honestly say they went into a store and decided to buy something based on the quality of their christmas decorations.//
I bet there are a fair amount of old people who do.

Norma: (Nudges Betty) "Oooo....lets go in there!" (Points at shop with flashing cristmas lights)
Betty: "In my day, there was more tinsel. I definatly spend more money if they had lots of tinsel."
Norma: "I know what you mean, I was down the butchers this morning and...."
...
silverstormer, Dec 09 2003
  

       [sputnik] - in my not-so-far-off checkout chick/refund clerk days, there would alternately be a brass band** or chorus* RIGHT outside the store (we were in a small complex). It made me neurotic. In my final days, I flatly refused to wear a Christmas hat unless I felt like it. They didn't press the issue, presumably because of the tic I was developing (or the breadknife I was holding).
--
*That couldn't carry a tune.
**That couldn't harmonise.
Detly, Dec 09 2003
  

       NO.   

       Absolutely no. And you all know what I'm talking about. Even you not-Christians.   

       I know where you all are coming from. You're reacting to the stimuli. That's all this is.   

       There's an inner place where Christmas dwells, in each of us. Even the non-Christians... there's a spot. Maybe it hasn't been activated in a while.. that's okay. But it's there.   

       The stimuli overloads and makes us blind. But the place is still there.   

       None of the external stimuli can reach it, so it doesn't matter. It's all extraneous. It just bounces off, and you become jaded. That's okay.   

       But some years, in some ways.. that place gets reached. And then.. then you know what it's all for, what it's all about.   

       That has happened to you. So you know what all the fuss is about. What those who insist on this silliness are striving to achieve. You have an insight. And if for some reason, you've never had it yet... you will.   

       So, no.
waugsqueke, Dec 09 2003
  

       //There's an inner place where Christmas dwells, in each of us. Even the non-Christians... there's a spot//   

       What, truly? Even in us second class, black-hearted, unenlightened heathens? How magnanimous of you, [waugsqueke].   

       I'm going to start a campaign to rename, or rather un-rename, Christmas and change it back to Yule. It only confuses things. I absolutely love Christmas but have never celebrated it as a christian festival with my family.   

       The Yule festival predates christianity by thousands of years. Christmas spirit is nothing to do with baby Jesus.
squeak, Dec 10 2003
  

       Wow, Waugs - a newbie who likes you...   

       I have to say, I love christmas too, and have similar feelings to those expressed here of bewilderment at people who refuse to see the joy the season brings as anything but exciting.   

       But crass commercialism at the beginning of November (or even earlier) is not christmas spirit. It does jade our perception of the holiday, and makes that spot that Waugs is talking about harder and harder for us to find as years go by. Instead of Joy, people begin feeling relief on christmas day - at last, it's over!   

       No, I don't really like the idea of christmas free zones in the run-up for christmas, although I admire the sentiment behind it, so a neutral vote. What I would like the idea of is christmas free months, eleven of 'em, so that we can save up the christmassy portion of our cheer, so that we can let it out again with extra gusto in time for the holidays.
yamahito, Dec 10 2003
  

       //I know where you all are coming from. You're reacting to the stimuli. That's all this is.//   

       No. I don't mind the stimuli. I'm all for the stimuli. It's that underlying message that makes me all grinchy...   

       To try and, I dunno, recontextualise somewhat:   

       Prisoner 9998760 arrives in prison.
Prisoner 9998760 preaches non-violence, empathy, anti-materialism and other such strange notions.
Prisoner 9998760 is brutally murdered by the other inmates.
Warden subsequently offers a free pardon to anyone who ritually condones this murder by drinking Prisoner 9998760's blood and saying "I'm a bad boy, Abbot.".
Prison regime continues to be violent, materialistic and lacking in empathy.
"Followers" of the teachings of Prisoner 9998760 decide its OK to be violent, materialistic and lacking in empathy as long as you feel bad about it afterwards. We're *all* criminals, after all.
"Followers" of the teachings of Prisoner 9998760, applying aforesaid violence, materialism and lack of empathy with skill and gusto, worm their way into positions of power as trustees of one wing of the prison.
Followers" of the teachings of Prisoner 9998760 institute an annual celebration of the *miraculous* day when their poor fucking fall guy arrived in the jail to take the rap for them.
  

       Nuh-uh. I'll take all the lavish, sordid, spectacular, gaudy, debauched crassness of Yule ye can throw at me, but I really, truly, honestly find that Christian message stuff abhorrent.
Guy Fox, Dec 10 2003
  

       // Even in us second class, black-hearted, unenlightened heathens? //   

       Don't be so hard on yourself, squeak.
waugsqueke, Dec 10 2003
  

       [Guy Fox] - what you seem to be criticising is not the underlying "message" of Christmas but what the church has done with it or to it. And I have to agree that the church is probably not the epitome of Christianity. But shirley that's not a reason for rejecting the message.
PeterSilly, Dec 10 2003
  

       Yesterday a guy in our office was ranting about christians who take every opportunity to stuff the gospel down his throat (in this instance, Christmas).   

       Today he was ranting about how the true meaning of Christmas has been swallowed up by crass commercialism.   

       Go figure. I personally would like a zone as described, but I would call it a commercialism-free zone, frankly. Much of what is annoying about this time of year has nothing to do with christians celebrating the birth of Christ, and everything to do with separating people from their (or someone else's) hard-earned cash.
egbert, Dec 10 2003
  

       Oh, I dunno. It's the christians that bug me. Some of the twinkly stuff isn't too bad but, as always, some people take it too far. At the moment, however, there are two <emphasise>*Yule*<un-emphasise> markets in my city, both within 5 or 10 minutes walking distance from my front door.   

       One of them is pretty huge and is full of stalls selling decorations, toys, small, unidentified pottery things etc.   

       The other is all hand-crafts and sells some very nice stuff indeed. I prefer this one. The best thing about both of them, though, is that they both have many stalls selling hot mulled wine, hot apple wine with calvados in, half-metre-long sausages, crepes, waffles etc. etc. etc. It smells wonderful and I don't mind them at all (and they only open on the first weekend of advent and close on the 23rd Dec).
squeak, Dec 10 2003
  

       <Blatant trolling> So Advent is OK, then...</BT>
egbert, Dec 10 2003
  

       Heh, baked. Go round to Guy Fox's house ;O)
DrBob, Dec 10 2003
  

       Sorry, eggy. Quite right too. Please read "(and they only open during the 24 day run up to the traditional Yule festival)" instead of last line of last anno.
squeak, Dec 10 2003
  

       Well, [Bliss]. If you are going to be called a fruit cake, the least you can do is live up to the name and liberally soak yourself in sherry in a festive cakey-type spirit.   

       btw. the half-metre-long sausage reference is not a joke or an exageration. I quite fancy one now.
squeak, Dec 10 2003
  

       [PeterSilly], no, it's the message. At least the mystical salvation part of it (that comes from St Paul, maybe?). I rather like the Sermon On The Mount, firebrand pacifist-socialist Jesus of the gospels with his turn-the-other-cheek, leave-that-whore-alone, kick-the-moneylenders-out-of-the-temple revolutionary manifesto. And he wasn't even an anti-fun puritan miserabilist about it. As the man himself said, "Look at John the Baptist - didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't shag, still got his head chopped off; screw it, pour me some vino tinto" (to paraphrase). But the fundamental idea of the divine king, the anointed one (*christos*, *meshiah*) nailed up as a blood-sacrifice so we can all *wash* our sins away in the Blood of the Lamb - which seems to me to be at the heart of celebrating the miraculous birth of a divine child, celebrating the arrival of a *Redeemer* - isn't what the church has done with the message; it's a basic tenet of Christianity itself unless I'm sorely mistaken.   

       Sorry, I don't want to drag this into a done-to-death debate. It's just that part of what contributes to my grinchiness this time of year is actually the blithe assumption that the *true meaning* of Christmas is this wonderful secret thing, obscured by commercialism, but revealed in quiet moments of epiphany with our loved ones, which us poor grinches must have sadly not experienced. No, I think the *true meaning* of Christmas is the pat pseudo-morality of the salvation spiel which I find reprehensible and would dearly like some respite from.   

       Anyhoo, yes [DrBob], all grinches welcome round mine. But I may well be round at [squeak]'s Yule market, cause them sausages sound good and I do like mulled wine.
Guy Fox, Dec 10 2003
  

       Bliss, it's delish. I never Kintyre of it.
egbert, Dec 10 2003
  

       <groan>
po, Dec 10 2003
  

       I'd agree... except for two reasons. First, my kids go bonkers over Christmas (there should be a Kids-Free-Zone during Christmas - but that's for another thread). So even if I get tired of it, I like the way my kids light up in the presence of the all the Christmas accoutrements. Second, even though it all gets to be too much at times, I find that it all helps to set the Christmas mood - in a secular sense. I find that everyone is a little nicer and a little friendlier during this time of year - and maybe that wouldn't be true if we weren't constantly reminded every two seconds that we should be a little nicer and little friendlier during this time of year.
politely, Dec 10 2003
  

       It appears people have found another place to fight ,other than around the table at Christmas.
python, Dec 10 2003
  

       For a Christmas free zone join the Jehovas Witnesses, they don't celebrate Christmas and all tend to go into hiding until its all over...
Micky Dread, Dec 10 2003
  

       Deep breath....here goes:   

       So what are we celebrating it for then still? He saved us...?..when?...i dont seem to recall seeing any kind of paradise today....life seems to be one disaster after another, (they tell me i'll be out of the wheelchair by the time my parole comes up)   

       Its a tradition lost in time. Surely we have something better in todays enlightened times to celebrate. I think we should be focussing more on todays problems that all this gift giving/hugging/singing/carousing.   

       Hate to be such a doomsayer, but the end of the world seems to be a lot closer than the start of it.   

       Standard disclaimer applies.....<\runs for cover>
rumbletumbler, Dec 10 2003
  

       [rumbletumbler] I think the deal is that you have to die first, then you go to paradise.
Micky Dread, Dec 10 2003
  

       Thx for the clarification Mickster. Great, finally something to look forward to when I die! I'll find out whether or not I should have been celebrating Christmas (shame I cant do anything about it at that point, better remember to have my 'Get out of Death Free card' on me).   

       Many thx to madradish tho and his kin, there are just some great christmas lights around where I live, they're beautiful. Wish they stayed up all year.
rumbletumbler, Dec 10 2003
  

       Not quite the opposite of "Designated Christmas Tree" zones.
half, Dec 10 2003
  

       What a shame this has turned into an anti-religious rant. I apologize for any part I had in that. To be sure though, the religious aspect of Christmas, which Guy seemed to have latched onto, is not at all what I was talking about.
waugsqueke, Dec 11 2003
  

       Regardless of whether Christmas is to be allowed or not, mulled wine should be allowed, nay compulsory, whenever the thermometer drops below 5 celsius (see link for recipe by St. Delia). Blissmiss, you *gotta* try it. Except throw in more liqueur. And maybe a bit less sugar depending on how sweet your tooth is.
squeak, Dec 11 2003
  

       My loft is a Christmas-free zone now all the decorations have been taken out of it. Available to responsible takers for a modest fee - applicant must supply own transport, heating, lighting and food. It will revert to a Christmassed-zone sometime near the beginning of January, if Mrs Silly doesn't carry out her threat and take all the stuff down by 28th December.
PeterSilly, Dec 11 2003
  

       baked last year in Germany. I liked the idea then, but now I'd rather like to watch little children shake hands with a freaky moron, and recite poems, and say what they want, and stupid things like that...
sweet, Dec 11 2003
  

       I am so glad I don't listen or watch commercial radio and TV. It's all basically mass hypnosis and regression. However, I think I'm seeing a healthy trend toward a world of thinking adults. Unplugging the Christmas machine is a good first step.
jackottabox, Dec 11 2003
  

       Scrooge....
bspollard, May 27 2004
  

       Why have so many people reacted to this as if it actually did suggest banning Christmas? Asking for a place to go to get a temporary respite from Christmas isn't really the Scroogy, Grinchy nastyness that many have said it is. Anything can be unpleasant if you are subjected to too much of it, a month of total immersion in Christmas may not be as deadly as it would be in water but it is still unpleasant. Will I now be ridiculed for hating water and all it represents? +
stilgar, Nov 16 2004
  

       I've read the whole damn thread and the posts that make most sense are [yamahito]'s 2/3rds of the way down, and [stilgar]'s right before the end.

The salient points of these:
1/6th of the year devoted to Christmas devalues the whole thing and gets to people like few other things can.
This idea is not about banning Christmas.

I strongly object to Christmas rearing its ugly, baubled head in early November so I'll be out shooting the eyes from plastic reindeer like [UB], swearing loudly in the gaps between Christmas songs, kicking over plastic snowmen and shouting "Humbug" at any salesperson in a Santa hat that dares approach me. Until December, when I shall gradually tone down until a week before Christmas when I start to get into the whole thing. Then I'll enjoy Christmas Day and revert promptly to Grinch mode on Boxing Day. Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
DocBrown, Nov 16 2004
  

       At this time of year, my elf prepares for social pressures to buy things I don't have any money for people I didn't really plan to give anything to. I keep trying to get out of town for the season, but shop-aholic in-laws will conscript myself and my fiancee' for gifting rituals before or after, so leaving is moot.   

       I'd just like to get together with friends to eat and drink, perhaps a little Saturnalia......
normzone, Nov 16 2004
  

       //I strongly object to Christmas rearing its ugly, baubled head in early November //

Early November? Consider yourself lucky. Woolworths had the Christmas advertising out in their store in October here.
DrBob, Nov 17 2004
  
      
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