What if the months of November and December didn’t exist? I was thinking about this the other day. For Americans, these months contain ‘the holidays’ and everything that goes along with them. For a lot of you, the holidays are a good time — maybe even your favorite time of year. For other people, it’s the most stressful and depressing time.
I remember hearing about a stat from years ago that annually more suicides occur during the months of November and December in America. Whether or not that’s still true today I don’t know, but my guess is that it is.
Personally, I probably fall into the category of ‘stressed out’ during the holidays. It’s not because I don’t have any Christmas spirit or that I don’t enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving — it’s the fucking insanity of the crowds in public. The traffic is a mess, people start acting like animals in stores, parking is a nightmare, and the lines everywhere are too fucking long. All because we need to buy shit — because we’ve been programmed this way. It’s ridiculous. Why do we need to camp out in tents in front of a Best Buy to get some ‘great deal’ on a TV? Is it that important to save a few bucks that we would reduce ourselves to this type of behavior? The level of gluttonous materialism during the holiday months is fucking sickening. It’s bad enough that throughout the rest of the year we’re continually being bombarded with manipulative marketing and advertising everywhere we look, but once the holidays come around the whole thing gets cranked up to 11.
As soon as the last Halloween jack-o-lantern is extinguished, the green light for Christmas comes on. Immediately here come the Christmas decorations; Christmas music playing on the radio and in stores; retailers advertising for Christmas shopping and Black Friday sales. What the fuck happened to Thanksgiving? Sure, we still celebrate it but it’s basically just Christmas, Junior now. As soon as we finish cleaning up our turkey and pumpkin pie scraps, it’s time to go out for midnight Black Friday sales. Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, I’m probably either drunk or at least strongly buzzed by that point so it almost sounds like a fun idea, but seriously — what the fuck? This is just accepted as normal behavior these days?
Christmas shopping has essentially become its own sport. It’s like a race to get the best place in line and cop the most ‘bargains’ on shit that you may or may not even need whatsoever. But hey, at least you ‘saved’ money, right? You took advantage of all the ‘great deals.’ You feel like a real winner now, right? That person who walked into a store like a normal person and bought that TV in August was a sucker for paying full price. You showed them. Now make sure you bring it up a few more times throughout the year about how you got it cheap during Black Friday to further rub it in the face of others. Oh, and don’t forget to post it on social media. Never forgot to post it on social media.
It all just makes me wonder what it would be like if we lived in a world where the months of November and December literally didn’t exist. October 31st would just become New Year’s Eve with a Halloween twist, and then the next day would be January 1st. Forget about all the science of it completely messing up the seasons and the rotation of the planet and cause the end of life as we know it, etc. Just entertain the idea, for a moment, that it could be possible to delete these two months from our lives and still live on. Aside from the obvious drawback of, “we’d age quicker,” I think it would actually make for a better world.
Without November and December, we would be forced to focus less on material possessions and more on experiencing life. Maybe the end of year goal would be to save up as much money as possible to travel to a new country every year. Instead of decorating our homes with costly, unspeakably ridiculous and overblown Christmas decorations to show our neighbors that we’re better than them, maybe we could focus on legitimate home improvements. Neighborhoods could transform into a utopia of well-maintained real estate just by re-directing misused Christmas funds appropriately.
With all this extra money every year, the possibilities would be endless. Retailers would no longer be able to rely on a successful Christmas season to fulfill fiscal forecasts. It would just be a world of legitimate supply and demand. People would buy things based on wants and needs rather than an overwhelming societal protocol to do so during one specific time of year. Sure, there would still be clever marketing and advertising. We live in a capitalist society – I’m not suggesting that would ever end. I’m only suggesting that we examine what November and December have essentially become. These two months have evolved (or devolved depending on how you look at it) into a time of psychological shift for most Americans. The way we think and behave during the rest of the year does not apply to these months. The holiday season hurls us simultaneously into a frenzy of spending and a strict obedience to tradition.
During any other time of year, one would never think to go out into gridlocked traffic to get to the mall; circle a parking lot for over an hour to fight over a parking space; spend hours running from store to store searching for whichever useless trinkets need to be checked off our Christmas list; stand in a line so long that it circles outside the store and around the corner; go home and spend several more hours wrapping, decorating, and addressing each item to be presented as a gift that the receiver will then inevitably tear open on Christmas day with no more than a smirk and a “thank you” before casting it aside seconds later to open another from someone else.