On Tuesday, I was just sitting there drinking my tea and listening to lo-fi house music while watching the Sixers game—minding my own business, essentially—when it happened. A Christmas commercial. Already?
I haven’t even taken the air conditioners out yet, and they’re talking about trees and decorations?
Surely, I’ve seen holiday ads as early as late September, so this isn’t new. It’s like a surprise every time, kind of like how it surprises every time you realize how early it’s getting dark—it’s only been happening for billions of years or so. Coincidentally, earlier that morning, my mom and sister were texting in our group chat about early holiday plans. I’m not the biggest holiday fan (Halloween is cool), but it had me thinking about the holidays in 2020. Those were a strange, tough time.
There was grief, frustration, and uncertainty. Covid-shaming was at its peak, families and loved ones failed to see eye to eye about meeting in groups—it was a mess. It’s not something I’d ever want to go back to, but it has me wondering how the pandemic has subconsciously changed our feelings about this season. Are we auto-piloting our way into the season? Or maybe for many of us, we’re moving with more intent and purpose these days. Maybe we aren’t. How long does “the spirit” of it all take to dawn on us, if it does at all?
I know I’m ahead of the holiday bandwagon here, but as we get ready to close out on the third year of a pandemic, how are we feeling about how some of our own traditions—holiday or not—have been compromised and contorted to the point where they’ve lost meaning or feeling?
I don’t know, just another existential thought from me. I’ll leave you be to carry on with my roundup this week instead.
Kyle V. Hiller
BSR associate editor