I have been holding off on writing my annual diatribe against all of the retail establishments who have had their Christmas merchandise on display since before Halloween. I am amazed (appalled) at how the Fall season has some how tragically become an almost three-month countdown to the biggest money-making event capitalists could possibly conceive: Christmas.
I even thought of adding a new category to this blog entitled “Kvetching” and lead off with my favorite seasonal complaint mentioned in the previous paragraph. But stuff just kept getting in the way.
I’ve been busy with my family and Rotary and my new job. I haven’t been shopping a whole lot. And I did not want to make that particular complaint a signature issue of a blog that I’ve created to explore how my unique experiences connect with the larger community on the island, on the mainland, across other oceans and definitely other religions.
I still like the idea of creating a category called “Kvetching.” Everybody needs the chance to whine and complain now and then.
Today I am not going to complain. Just the opposite. I am going to kvell (Maybe that should be a category as well. Maybe I should rename all of my categories with Yiddish titles.)
Something great happened yesterday and I am of the sneaking suspicion that it is my own very personal reward for exercising a bit of self-restraint. I have not complained too much about the fact that Christmas trees that have been subtly emerging over the past month or the “Holiday” decorations and events that are named with such political correctness, but adorned with absolutely no diversity whatsoever.
I have simply rushed passed them and when my children were in tow, murmured minimal mumblings about the silliness of it all. I have not gotten worked up at all.
Until yesterday. We stopped by Target on our way to the IPA Scholastic Book Fair to get some supplies for the Ko Olina Resort & Marina Thanksgiving Outreach we are participating in today. The Rotary Club of Kapolei will be serving 200 meals at the US Vets facility at Kalaeloa.
That’s when it happened. We were in the greeting card section when my younger girl joyfully exclaimed, “Chanukah decorations!”
I turned to look at what she was talking about and I saw it too, with my very own eyes, Chanukah decorations. It was not just one or two items shoved on a bottom shelf as a token nod to people who might be in search of something else in life besides Christmas. No, it was an entire section that was strategically placed at the end of the aisle to attract our attention and encourage us to buy, buy buy. And I did. There were plates, napkins, menorahs, dreidles, decorations and candles.
I was thrilled and my daughter was too.
When I first moved to Hawaii my mother had to send me stuff from her Temple gift shop in Kansas City. She’d send me Chanukah gelt and small dreidles to take to the kids’ classrooms. She sent plates and napkins so we could have holiday appropriate celebrations in our home.
Whenever there was a Jewish holiday, Kapolei Safeway would display the matzah and chicken soup boxes as if that’s what we eat on a ritual basis.
Over the years I have been able to purchase what I need at our own Temple gift shop and have done a lot of online shopping as well. I always support the Innisbrook gift wrap fundraiser at IPA because they have Chanukah wrapping paper and gift bags.
Yesterday I supported Target. We bought plates, napkins, decorations and even some candles that we don’t need. If they are going to give us a whole section, I am going to shop there–whole heartedly.
My husband described it in capitalist terms, if I show a demand they will offer the supply!
I don’t know how long those items were there. Perhaps they went up in October as well. But since the first night of Chanukah is on December 1 this year, I saw last night as excellent timing. A few weeks before the holiday, right around Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get “In the spirit.”
It’s like our own little Chanukah miracle, right in the middle of the Kapolei Target, offering a spirit of good will for the season. This will certainly buoy me down the aisles of that store and others with a much smaller kvetch on my tongue and a good dose of holiday cheer in my heart.