November 12, 2003

Home Decorating

And not the Trading Spaces, paint in your hair, fabric stapled to your wall (or worse, straw glued to your walls if you have the misfortune to incur the "stylings" of one Hildi Santo-Tomas), check out the abs on the preternaturally telegenic "carpenter" type of decorating, either. No, I'm talking about the "dashing to Target or A.C. Moore and picking up a kid-friendly, seasonal themed doo-dad or two to help The Boy navigate the course of the year," kind of decorating.

It's Thanksgiving in two weeks, right? So I figure I'll pick up a pumpkin and turkey themed flag for outside, and maybe a candle and a couple of pilgrims for the dinner table centerpiece. Thanksgiving tends to get short shrift nowadays--the least I can do is introduce The Boy to the "Pilgrims and Indians give thanks and have big feast thingy" before some PC-addled first grade teacher forces him to color a pictogram of Plymouth Rock crushing people of color...but I digress. Fortunately I had purchased a Thanksgiving flag (smiling turkey on a field of pumpkins--no truth in advertising in the Big Arm household, thank you very much) last month, so that was no biggie. Now to find some pilgrims.

If you've been anywhere even remotely commercial in the past two weeks I'm sure you know what's coming. No pilgrims. Nary a buckled shoe to be found in the entire burg of Raleigh. Or in Cary. Or even in Garner. The Thanksgiving displays at the usual suspects (Target, AC Moore, Michael's, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, etc) consist of one run down shelf in the back with a "fall-themed" (read--brown with orange and red leaves on it) table runner, a few sad "fall-themed" candles, and MAYBE a ceramic or painted tin turkey. Okay. I want a pilgrim. No, strike that. I want TWO PILGRIMS. A little pilgrim man and a little pilgrim woman, striking Miles Standish poses on my "fall-themed table runner" and flanked by orange candles. Just like I remember from my childhood. WHERE ARE THE DAMN PILGRIMS?!?! It is a full 3 and a half weeks BEFORE THANKSGIVING, so I don't think it's too much to ask for the stores in question to reserve ONE shelf for items that are actually SEASON APPROPRIATE, unlike, oh, the FOUR HUNDRED FREAKING AISLES OF CHRISTMAS CRAP! That have been there since OCTOBER! Oh. My. GOD!

Dear Stores of America -

Thank you SO MUCH for rushing the Christmas season to the point that by November first I am completely inundated with red bows, holly berries, tinsel, santa, snowmen and carols, and therefore completely sick of Christmas by November 30. I'd send you a lovely bouquet to thank you, but I can't find any flora that isn't a poinsettia or an evergreen, so please accept this gaudy inflatable SpongeBob as Santa lawn ornament as a token of my thanks. Please ignore the fact that SpongeBob's middle finger is raised in a defiant salute--I'm sure that's just due to a glitch at the factory. And rest assured, if I DO manage to find a little statue of a pilgrim amidst your endless fake-snow-encrusted piles of crap, I will derive much joy from visualizing you placing said statue in a place where the sun most assuredly does not shine and then spinning. I will not, however, make that vision a reality, because I refuse to sacrifice my seasonal decor in the service of vengeance.

Big Arm Woman

Posted by Big Arm Woman at November 12, 2003 09:44 AM

Sign me up for the campaign against premature Christmas! It's hard to say "Season's Greetings" to someone with a straight face when the season stretches over fall AND winter, and is regressing rapidly toward summer. Have you noticed that "Sunny 93.9" is ALREADY playing Christmas music?? As much as I love Christmas, I think we should take our holidays one at a time.

If you still haven't given up on your pilgrim hunt, you might want to check out a Cracker Barrel restaurant store. The one at I40/Hwy42 out beyond Garner still had a sizeable Fall/Thanksgiving amount of stuff as of a week or so ago, although the Santas and angels were beginning to move in. The fabric stores like Joanne's still have some autumn-themed stuff, too.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 12, 2003 01:15 PM

Do you have a really really posh garden center nearby, the sort you feel you need a loan to walk into? They often handle seasonal decorations such as you seek. Up here in Chicago, the only place I can find Thanksgiving stuff is at our poshest garden store. In fact, I'm going in Sunday to pick up a couple of Pilgrims-I hope.

Posted by: Captain Yips at November 13, 2003 02:58 PM

Stores work on the Lunar Christmas. After a while it wanders off season, like it did before Gregory or whoever the Pope was that moved Easter back into spring. You couldn't buy Easter eggs without snow on them until the Middle Ages.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at November 13, 2003 06:29 PM

Where can I get one of those SpongeBobs (the kind doing the salute)? I need one to put on my desk at work.

Posted by: Lex at November 14, 2003 06:25 AM

You might also try Oriental Trading Company. They're cheap and fast and have Thanksgiving stuff all year. It's a great place for Boy things. It all breaks quickly, but what doesn't with a Boy? It's cheap enough that you can not worry about it. The selection for Thanksgiving isn't so great but at least there's some pilgrim themed stuff.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 14, 2003 09:20 PM