Tag Archives: shopping

Beauty in the Movies: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead is one of the best movies ever, please don’t be misled by the title. Sure, if you like super serious movies where you get knocked over the head by meaning and intense emotion and all that, then fine, you might not agree, but if you were a girl who was growing up in the 90s, you probably love this film—and there’s no shame in that, only pride!

DTMTBD is like Working Girl for the 90s teen set, only kind of better because the fashion is way more fun. When Sue Ellen (or “Swell” for short) Crandell’s mom decides to jet off to Australia with her new boyfriend leaving her five children alone for the summer, at first they think they’re going to have the time of their lives. So it comes as quite a surprise when an old woman shows up at the door proclaiming to be their babysitter. It’s even more of a surprise when she drops dead leaving the kids with no money.

Sue Ellen soon realizes that, being the oldest, she’s in charge of her ramshackle gang of siblings for the rest of the summer. She and her burn-out brother Kenny (Keith Coogan) toss a frozen pizza to decide who will get a job and who will stay home with the kids. Sue Ellen loses the pizza toss, and soon finds herself cleaning fat vats at fast food joint Clown Dog. She quits pretty quickly, but not before meeting Brian (Josh Charles), a cute delivery-guy.

As a result of copying her resume straight from a book, Sue Ellen lands a coveted position as Executive Administrative Assistant at General Apparel West, making an enemy of the original candidate for the position, bitchy receptionist Carolyn (Jayne Brook).

Swell’s killer interview outfit and fake resume may have won her the job, but now Carolyn and her boyfriend (a greasy pre-X-Files David Duchovny) are determined to take her down.

Luckily Sue Ellen has the best boss ever, Rose (Joanna Cassidy) who not only can’t stand Carolyn but also gives us viewers the delightful phrase “I’m right on top of that Rose”, which to this day I still hear in my head when given an important task at work. Unfortunately 17-year-old Sue Ellen is in a bit over her head and things soon unravel, but not before an amazing work montage, beach romance, and some truly amazing 90s fashion.

DTMTBD has stuck around and remained in our hearts because it’s atypical for a teen movie. I love that Sue Ellen has a power-suit wearing female boss who is awesome and supportive instead of evil. It’s also great that while she gives herself her own “business” makeover, her younger brother is really the one who ends up going through a typical physical transformation—haircut, clean clothes, etc.

Swell was a fashion icon for me in my formative years, I still marvel at how she made harem pants and over-sized blazers look so effortlessly hip. Her awesome early 90s friends are also an inspiration, they remind me of the babysitters I had as a kid who I though were just the coolest. girls. ever. Side ponytails, teased hair, chunky jewelry, as far as I’m concerned they still look damn amazing.

Don’t be betrayed by the name, if for some reason you’ve never had the delight of watching DTMTBD, give it a try. It’s great this time of year if you’re working your butt off in business wear and feeling bitter about the tourists and day-trippers that surround you on your commute (I speak from very strong personal experience). It’s worth it alone to watch for the fashion show at the end, but really, whether she is wearing doc martens or shoulder-pads, Christina Applegate is just so damn wonderful. So crank up the AC, microwave some popcorn, and revisit a teen movie with style and charm that far exceed its title.

Beauty in the Movies: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Maxi dress
$38 – topshop.com

Diane von Furstenberg sheer blouse
250 – net-a-porter.com

Off the shoulder shirt
$15 – alloy.com

Viktor Rolf slim fit blazer
$698 – lagarconne.com

Freda blue jacket
144 – matchesfashion.com

River Island long jacket
50 – riverisland.com

French Connection harem pants
women.fashionbeans.com

Forzieri black leather briefcase
$659 – forzieri.com

Dannijo silver cuff bracelet
238 – net-a-porter.com

Black earrings
$7.99 – amazon.com

NERIDA FRAIMAN vintage hat
259 – harrods.com

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
€71 – my-wardrobe.com

Calvin Klein wide leather belt
$38 – zappos.com

Cuteberry floral scarve
$16 – yesstyle.com

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A Review: Tarte 8th World Wonder Collection from QVC

One day I will do a full post on the ridiculous yet mesmerizing phenomenon that is QVC, but for today I’m just going to review this Tarte collection that I took a gamble and splurged on since I needed a new powder brush anyway. QVC actually has some awesome makeup deals in case you didn’t know. This whole collection was available for pre-order at $48.36, the blush is $25 at Sephora and the mascara is $19, so that’s almost the whole cost right there. Now the price is up to $52.74, I’m not sure how much the cost will go up and when they’ll get in more stock, but even at $60 this collection is a great value.

Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 with brush

I haven’t worn real foundation in years, I use MACs studio finish concealer and blend it with moisturizer instead. The reason for this is I’m really pale and everything looks orange on me (even tinted moisturizers with names like “extra light”) so I was surprised this foundation actually matches my skin. Maybe because Maureen Kelly is as pale as I am, but that also means all these shades of foundation run light. Hopefully they’ll add more shades, because even the darkest doesn’t look very dark. Also the brush is really soft and fluffy.

Amazonian clay 12-hour wear powder blush in Glisten

I’m very happy with this blush, it’s kind of like Nars Orgasm but smoother. It’s not cakey like powder blushes can be sometimes. It is very pigmented so try not to layer it on. It also has shimmer, so if you prefer a matte look, it might not be for you.

Pure Maracuja oil sample

I’m loving this oil, and not just because I like saying the name “Maracuja”. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and it makes skin look hydrated and healthy without looking greasy.

Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette

This eyeshadow quad is a little flimsy, I kept trying to pull the plastic off the mirror until I realized it’s just a really crappy mirror. The shadows are nice and smooth, but definitely need to be blended with attention. Some of the reviews on QVC complain that these shadows (and the blush) are too pigmented, but you can’t blame the product if you don’t use it right. Blend, my friends—that is the most overlooked makeup “secret” of all and it’s very easy to do. The more pigment a product has the more use you can get out of it in the long run, just use it in moderation.

Lights, Camera, Lashes! volumizing mascara in Black

While I think this mascara is very nice and was happy to get it with this set, I think my trusty drugstore brands (Covergirl, Maybelline) get the job done just as well.

Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum

I was surprised that this liner went on smoothly, stayed put all day, and still came off easily at night. It’s a plummy, brownish-gold color, and it doesn’t have glitter flecks or anything.

Pure Optic moisturizing lip gloss in Golden Pink

This gloss on the other hand is very glittery. In fact it’s mostly just glitter with a teensy bit of a pink hue. I’m not a gloss person, but this one isn’t as sticky as others and also has a fresh minty scent.

And it all comes in this purple woven bag!

Here’s the whole look:

Can I just say, taking pictures of yourself without looking like an ass is really hard. There are so many women out there who do this for their makeup blogs all the time and god bless them, but I don’t know how they do it. I always have to crop out my messy house and sometimes I end up with some really scary wide-angle shots. Anyway, I do it for you readers, I want you to see what the makeup looks like on a real person. If I could use my cats, I would, but they’re kind of busy.

While I’m on the subject of embarrassing pictures of myself and also cats…guess who got to meet Hello Kitty at Sephora last week? Yeah, It was me and she totally grabbed me in a bear hug and I loved every second of it!

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Retail Rationalizing

This is how it starts. One day you look at your purse and you think, “that thing is starting to look ragged, maybe I should look for a new one”. So you start to shop around, maybe you look at a few stores where you have gift cards or you do some searches online. Then you spot a bag you like, it’s cute but way too expensive, so you keep looking. But wait, there’s that bag again—and again, it keeps popping up. You do a search for ‘cross-body-leather-bag’ and it keeps following you. You read the reviews, they’re all good. You learn it’s a cult bag, which isn’t appealing because it’s popular (in fact that’s a downside) but it is appealing because it means it’s a well made versatile bag people seem satisfied with.

One day you find yourself at the mall and you think “I’ll just pop into Nordstrom and see if they have that bag”, of course they do. After a few minutes of petting the soft leather lovingly, you try it on. Eventually the sales girl comes over because you look crazy as you obsessively play with the thing and try it on several different ways. Zipping, un-zipping, looking for some flaw to make you love it less, but you can’t find anything, it’s exactly what you want it to be. Damn.

I’ve never been big on labels, if it looks cute, who cares who makes it? I have plenty of clothes from Costco and I’m not ashamed. The problem is that sometimes, especially with bags and shoes, the label is more than just a name, it’s better quality too. You see how I’m justifying this to you? It’s a slippery slope. Although I can’t imagine I’ll ever be the girl spending all her money on designer shoes and handbags, I can understand now how it happens, and I can’t judge anymore. Nobody actually needs a new purse right? I could use a plastic bag or a tote bag or something, the truth is that I want it, I want it. To say that I need it is just a rationalization.

Now it has become a thing, I find myself looking at my wardrobe thinking, “that jacket would look way cuter with that bag”, or “if I just stop buying so many damn groceries I could put the money towards that bag”. This may be one reason many “fashionistas” (I kinda hate that word) are so skinny. Seriously though, when you’re lusting after a product, whether it be a bag, or an ipod, or a miracle face cream, once you’ve started imagining it in your possession, it’s hard to just let it go.

I’m not saying this phenomenon is good, or right, or healthy, but it’s definitely true. You see something, you want something, you then rationalize that you need to have it, you think about it a bit too much, and then finally you buy it. Sometimes it ends up being something you love and use constantly, and sometimes it sits at the back of your closet or the bottom of your purse giving you a twinge of guilt every-time you come upon it.

So, what’s a girl to do? I could show restraint and walk away, but I could really use a new purse, and any money I spend on something else will just be money I could have spent on the one I really wanted. I feel stupid for thinking about an object so much. Stuff is just stuff, right? But I’d assume most people (in this country at least) have made a purchase they’ve rationalized in some way. It could be anything, a TV, a car, a kindle, we all want things. Women get labeled as having this problem more than men, but I don’t think anyone is totally immune to it. So maybe I want a $295 bag, so what? I’m going to go ahead and rationalize it to myself and work and save for it, check some discount sites, and then maybe I won’t feel so bad about it—that’s the point of rationalizing right?


My question is, have the rest of you ever had this problem?

Also, has anyone ever used Bags.Bonanza.com? They have the bag I’ve been obsessing over but I’ve never bought anything in an auction with no returns, I’m scared! Any advice appreciated!

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Beauty in the Movies: The Devil Wears Prada

I had a job interview this week, and on my way I couldn’t help thinking of The Devil Wears Prada. That might sound silly, but it was reassuring to know that even if the interview went badly, it couldn’t possibly be as bad as finding Miranda Priestly (or Anna Wintour) sitting at that desk across from you.

The Devil Wears Prada is the story of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a Midwesterner in New York, fresh out of college and desperate for experience. Andy wants to be a journalist, but she finds herself at the world’s top fashion magazine, Runway, interviewing to be the assistant of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), a job a thousand girls would kill for. Miranda isn’t just an editor at a fashion magazine, she is the voice of fashion. Her word is the last word, and all other opinions be damned. She is cold, brutal, and unsympathetic, but also elegant, successful and respected beyond compare.

Miranda hires Andy despite her “frumpy” (ahem, I have the j. crew coat she wears in the opening sequence—it’s cute, ok?) appearance in the hopes that she is different from the fashion obsessed girls who usually land the job. While Andy is up for the challenge, the demands of her new position put her relationship with her family, best friend (Tracie Thoms), and boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) into jeopardy. Andy has to choose what’s important to her, but in the process of self discovery there’s also a bunch of montages, a few Madonna songs, a makeover, and some great designer clothes.

This is not the most unpredictable film, but it certainly has its charms, most specifically Meryl Streep’s perfectly frightening portrayal of Miranda. It’s hard to take your eyes off her, everything from the way she enunciates her words, to the cruel flicker in her eyes while torturing Andy with impossible tasks, further propels the believability of her character. Miranda Priestly makes Working Girl‘s Catherine Parker look like a whiny, disheveled brat. Rumor has it the character was based on Anna Wintour, the notoriously steely editor-in-chief of American Vogue, but Streep creates her own Miranda and delivers a woman who is both vicious and awe-inspiring in her approach to life and business.

Emily Blunt is fantastic and funny as Miranda’s other assistant (the 1st assistant), she is the stand-out among the supporting cast and steals all her scenes right out from under Anne Hathaway. Stanley Tucci is also charming, while stereotypical as Nigel Runway’s Art director who is adored by both Miranda and Andy. Simon Baker plays a roguish writer and Valentino and Giselle (proving she shouldn’t quit her day job) make appearances as well.


Most people have had a boss or supervisor whom they’ve found less than pleasing, but this film takes it to new levels. Miranda’s treatment of Andy could be seen as character building—a tough love of sorts, after all she does learn a lot and come out on top in many ways. Unfortunately the ugly side of that coin is that her sadistic treatment virtually ruins Andy’s life, and as we learn, Miranda’s personal life isn’t all roses and sunshine either, leading the viewer to believe that great success comes only with great sacrifice. It’s an issue I wish the movie explored a bit more, because it feels like we’re meant to believe Miranda must be evil in order to be respected, which forgives her cruelty just a tad too much. There is too much of a shine put on everything in this film and the minute you think you might get to look deeper, you’re placated by pretty clothes, which is fine and can be really enjoyable, but it doesn’t make you think too hard either.

The Devil Wear Prada is a fun, entertaining, possibly unrealistic look at the fashion world. It’s also a coming of age film, and a film about figuring out who you want to be as a professional and as a person—but most of all it’s about really pretty clothes, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana and Patricia Field’s beautiful styling. I’d take a film like this over a bland rom-com with Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl any day, because while it might not be groundbreaking, it’s about something other than just men and cliches. Don’t expect to be surprised by the twisting plot or unconventional characters, just get lost in the brilliance of Meryl Streep and the beauty of Chanel while you sit back and wish you could afford designer clothes.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada by justinez featuring peep toe shoes

PAUW SS10/42330 009 COTTON –
172 GBP – farfetch.com
Wrap blouses »

Trimmed Cardigan by D&G Dolce&Gabbana
153 GBP – my-wardrobe.com
Knit cardigans »

Whyred Pasca pleated mini skirt
145 GBP – brownsfashion.com
Pleated mini skirts »

Lanvin T-Strap Sandal
$955 – barneys.com
Peep toe shoes »

Bianca Patent Platform Pump
$735 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Christian louboutin pump »

Christian louboutin shoes BLACK
535 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Peep toe shoes »

Gepa Vitello Daino Tote
$1,650 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Prada handbags »

Marc by marc jacobs bags DARK BLUE
440 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Leather totes »

Susan caplan vintage jewellery GOLD
475 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Gold jewelries »

CA & LOU Bracelet
315 EUR – colette.fr
Couture bracelets »

Chanel Gold Medallion Chain Belt
$900 – cmadeleines.com
Chanel belts »

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Which Holiday Shopper Are You?

If you haven’t bought gifts for everyone on your list yet, chances are in the next week you’ll be doing some shopping. Holiday shopping stresses everyone out, the crowds, the impending deadline, the long list of family and friends to find gifts for. The commercial aspect of the holidays stinks, but unless you and your family have collectively decided to forgo gifts this season, shopping is a necessary part of the holidays. Everyone has their own method, and each has its pros and cons—let’s take a look at some shall we?

The Crafter

There is this idea that if you make your Christmas gifts rather than buy them you’re saving money and giving a unique gift, but as someone who has often taken this path, I can tell you that crafting holiday gifts can be a slippery slope. First off you have to go to Michaels, AC Moore or  your local craft store. These places can be terrifying. You will stand in long lines for hours observing carts filled with scented glitter flowers, styrofoam birds, snowman tins, fake fruit, and tons of unnecessary objects bought in large quantities. By the time you’ve bought all your supplies, you’ve spent over $70 and wasted half your day. Should you realize you forgot to buy an ornament for someone, sorry! All the Christmas stuff is gone and has been replaced by conversation hearts and plastic eggs by December. So make sure you buy your supplies a few months early, and buy it in bulk.

Then you have to make your gifts, you may estimate this to take a few evening’s time, but jump-cut to Christmas Eve and you’re still painting, knitting, or decoupaging frantically. Your living room is covered in glitter and glue, and you find yourself wishing you had just bought gifts so you could be happily sipping eggnog right now. You also face the risk that someone will be insulted you didn’t get them a “real” present. Make sure you think about what you’re planning to make, and be sure it holds up against what people might be planning to give you.

The bottom-line: While crafting can be a personal and unique approach to gift giving, it must be well thought-out and executed with care. Stop and ask yourself if you would like to receive the gift you’re making, and if you have the time to put into making it well, if you can’t give a confident “yes” to those questions—it might be best to choose a different option.

The Online Shopper

Online shopping certainly makes the holidays easier, with just a few clicks you can have all your gifts delivered to your door; no crowds, no heavy shopping bags, or picked-over stores, it’s a sensible option. Online shopping does have its downsides though, the most obvious being the extra shipping cost, fortunately around the holidays most stores offer free or discounted shipping options—but wait too long and they nail you on expedited shipping. After all what use is a Christmas gift if you don’t have it by December 25th? These companies know the answer to that question, and they know they can make you pay for it.

If you’re shopping online you also have the disadvantage of being unsure what you’re getting for the cost. There is always the chance that what looked great online, seems a lot crappier in person. If you’ve seen it in stores, or the website has a generous return policy, it’s totally worth it, just make sure you check for re-stocking fees and pricey return shipping.

The bottom-line: Online shopping is great if you know what you’re looking for and you do it in advance to avoid insanely priced rush shipping—and always read return policies before you buy!

The Frantic Shopper

The frantic shopper has either waited until Christmas week to do their shopping, or has a busy schedule that only allows a few hours of holiday shopping. I have often fallen into this category—actually this was me last week on a trip to Manhattan, freezing my butt off because I wore a cute wool coat instead of my garbage-bag-like full body puffer. I hit up seven stores in record time and by the time I got on the train I was so loaded down with bags I thought my arms were going to fall off and my feet were aching and numb with cold. Did I spend more than I had planned? Yes. Did I accomplish what I set out to do? Mostly. Was I exhausted, cold, and stressed out? For damn sure.

This isn’t the most thought-out method, but it can be worth it because you get the whole thing over with in one go. The crowds though, ugh my god, whether you’re in a city, a mall, a holiday market, or driving around your neighborhood, shopping in December can be a thing of nightmares. The pushing, the fighting, the parking, the sold out shelves and endless lines, it’s enough to make me vow every year that I will find another method—maybe one of these years I’ll learn my lesson.

The bottom-line: Not for those easily phased by crowds or carrying heavy objects, but if you’re a procrastinator, it might be your only option to please everyone on your list.

The One-stop Shopper

As I pointed out above, running from store to stores can be a total pain, especially if it’s freezing, so another solution is to buy everything in one store. If you’re dealing with kids who have specific lists, or buying for a wide range of personal tastes and preferences, this might not work for you. It can be hard to find something for your teenage niece and your grandpa in the same store, but if you’re smart about it, you can make it work. This can be an efficient way to shop, but you have to be careful, because it’s easy to get lazy.

For example you may be embarrassed on Christmas when everyone opens their gifts on Christmas and it’s obvious you did all your shopping at the hardware store (who doesn’t love a mini flash-light or a measuring tape key-chain right?). Or maybe you got your siblings and parents gadgets from Best Buy, they might love it, but was your great-aunt really jonesing for a pair of pink gummy headphones? This method works great if you choose the right place, target or a discount store like TJ Maxx or Marshalls can be perfect—you just don’t want to find yourself wandering through Sephora looking for a gift for dad, unless you’re dad, unlike my dad, thinks $30 shampoo is money well spent.

The bottom-line: If you’re shopping for a bunch of people with similar tastes this is a great idea and likely to save you a lot of time—just make if a store with a wide array of products and departments.

The Planner

This is my goal, this is who I want to be every year, and I never pull it together. Planners spend the year picking up gifts here and there, buying gifts for people as they come upon something they would like. Maybe they find a great sale, or use coupons too, or pay attention when people mention things they need. Then they tuck everything away in the closet so when the holidays come around, they get to sit back and relax while the rest of us find ourselves in a frenzy.

Every year I vow to start my Christmas shopping in June, and every year December comes again and I kick myself. Sure I have that one pair of socks I bought for someone, but overall I’m unprepared and wishing I had just bought that perfect gift I saw for my mom in July instead of putting it off and forgetting what it was.

The bottom-line: If you’re smart enough to do this, I am jealous of you. Enjoy relaxing next week while the rest of us are running around like crazy people. You probably already have all your gifts wrapped and under the tree too don’t you? Congratulations, you win for most efficient holiday shopper, good for you!

So which one are you?

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Birds Of A Feather…Fly Into Glass Surfaces

On Monday morning I was upset to find a dead bird on my doorstep. I don’t think anyone likes to see dead animals—or dead anything for that matter, so I was pretty sad about it. It seemed strange because my front door is in a breezeway where there isn’t a place to perch or fall from. Maybe it was the cold weather? I’ve heard plenty of stories about cats leaving birds on doorsteps as gifts, but I don’t think any of the neighborhood cats are particular enamored of me. It did occur to me for a moment that a female cat spotted one of my Tabbys in the window and fell in love, they can be pretty cute, but unfortunately my life is not a Disney movie.

I called my dad who was kind enough to bury the poor thing and I went back about my life. The next morning as I was walking past my front door I heard a thud and was pissed that someone had thrown something at my house, but it was too small to be a newspaper and not hard enough to be a rock. I ran over to the door and lo-and behold, another bird laying in the exact same spot! It was then I realized these birds were flying themselves into my door cartoon-style, only it wasn’t very funny in real life.

I called my dad once again because I’m a baby and like I said, dead animals are really upsetting. Thankfully once he arrived the little bird was twitching and after a few minutes popped up and started to dazedly blink, he wasn’t dead, just stunned. After doing some research it turns out this is quite a common thing and I should have know about it. No one knows for sure, but it seems that birds see the reflection of sky in the glass and charge forward without thinking twice sometimes inadvertently killing themselves. This is why those big glass buildings all over Manhattan are not only ugly, but also anti-bird, so we should totally get the Audubon society after them. You can help the birds help themselves by breaking up the surface of glass, which is why my front door is now decorated with William Morris wrapping paper—I hope the birds appreciate it. So far there haven’t been any more incidents.

I feel like there is an important metaphor in there somewhere about flying head first into things, but I’ll leave each of you to draw your own conclusions. It was just too weird not to blog about it, maybe you’re all familiar with this phenomena already and have your windows and doors covered in bird friendly wrappings, if so, I apologize for my ignorance!

In keeping with the bird theme, check out this cute new peacock feather patterned scarf that just arrived in the mail from modcloth:

It’s not warm but it’s adorable, comfy, and goes with everything! While we’re on the theme, I’m also loving this new nail polish, Cuckoo For This Color from OPI’s Swiss collection. It’s a sparkly greenish blue that looks bright in the sunlight but muted and dark in the shade:

And that’s all there is in bird news today folks! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the return of Beauty in the Movies!

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Have you noticed? It’s Christmas!

Maybe I’m just getting older and starting to harp on about how things were different when I was young, but the past few years it seems that the Christmas season has been spreading out, creeping up to shake its jingle bells right in the face of the great pumpkin and nearly eliminate Autumn all together.

Over the weekend I took a trip to Macy’s to use my 20% off coupon on some remaining registry items and as I walked around the store I couldn’t help but feel accosted by the sparkling Christmas trees and brightly wrapped gifts lurking around every corner. I swear I heard a few bars of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and it just about sent me into a pre-Christmas panic. Wasn’t it only November 6th? Isn’t there still another major holiday before Christmas?

I began to worry that I hadn’t started my Christmas shopping, that the year was already over, and that I had somehow missed a whole month—what happened to November? What happened to Turkeys and leaves and the harvest? Apparently you can’t market Thanksgiving like other holidays so instead it has the honor of kicking it all off. We all know about black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving where we literally trample our fellow-man to get a couple bucks off a flat screen television. It sort of tosses aside the whole idea of being thankful for the simple things. Maybe instead of going around the table saying what we are grateful for we should just read off our Christmas lists?

Every holiday has been made bigger by the marketing push for products and gifts you need to celebrate it sufficiently. But there is something untouched about Thanksgiving day, aside from oven stuffers and the occasional chocolate turkey, there isn’t much for the department stores to sell on you. Maybe it’s remained sacred somehow, or maybe the advertising world just hasn’t hit on great ideas like cornucopias filled with gifts for the ones you love (to show you’re really thankful). Either way, its lack of marketability has forced it to be folded in with the winter season and simply labeled part of “The Holidays”. The upshot of this is that “The Holidays” start on November 1st and last until January 1st, making Thanksgiving and all the warm, happy, gracious sentiment it evokes nothing more than a stop on the way to the superstar of all holidays—CHRISTMAS!

I’d like to enjoy Autumn, the leaves falling and the family gathering around the table to discuss what they’re grateful for rather than what they’re planning to buy. There was always something magical about the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and the fact that when Santa finally made his way down 34th street waving his chubby velvet clad arm he brought the Christmas season along with him. It seems strange that Macy’s, who started this tradition, are now the same ones who violate it by getting out the Christmas decorations a month before they bring Santa to the city. They should just buy out NYC’s Village Halloween parade and move Santa in there to get this whole thing rolling a bit earlier.

Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays and celebration, my family and our mixed cultural bag celebrates a whole bunch of them during the “holiday” season. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that what makes Christmas, Thanksgiving, and any holiday special is that it only happens once a year, so when it seems to last for months, some of the sparkle rubs off. Plus, we all know it’s not just about the presents (no matter what Amy March says). I know it’s a cliché at this point, but Christmas, and holidays in general aren’t exciting because of what you get, but because of who you’re with and what you do during a specific and singular time of year.

I’ve worked for a lot of retail stores, I know it’s hard to re-do the windows twice a season. I’ve worked for websites too and know for sure what a pain it can be to re-vamp the home page and the pressure there is to get that Christmas stuff up as soon as the Halloween costumes comes off. I understand people are just doing their jobs. Maybe it’s my fault for going to the stores and shopping online because I’ve bought into the idea that I should be buying gifts for everyone I know as soon as I can. Or maybe in these hard times we need more “Holiday” to lift our spirits, but I somehow have the feeling that retailers aren’t as concerned with cheering us up as they are with getting our money.

It’s fairly common for American tradition to be dictated by large corporations, not just the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade but Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole and even Tiffany engagement rings, so it’s not crazy to think they have a lot of control over our culture, which frankly I find frightening. I know the holidays are a loaded topic, and I am in no way against celebration—quite the contrary in fact, but I don’t want the season to lose its specialness and I just want the beautiful month of November back!

Anyone else feeling a bit stressed out by the holiday season starting already? Or do you all have your shopping done and are happily sitting back listening to A Very Special Christmas #8 while you sip cocoa by the fire and laugh at me?

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