Holiday Shopping Season Starting Too Early? Fix the Bill of Rights.
So, I was in Arby’s the other day when I noticed they were playing Christmas music already. This was on November 9th. Wait a minute! We hadn’t even made it to Veteran’s Day yet, let alone Thanksgiving. I find this a little annoying. Then I started noticing ads on TV with a Holiday theme. Even the airport is decorated with Christmas decorations already. Something must be done.
Veteran’s Day is a holiday to reflect on the sacrifices made by a few for the benefit of the whole. It is a day to personally thank the men and women of the armed forces who have made the world what it is today. This should not be overlooked for the monstrosity also known as the Holiday Shopping Season.
This is my opinion, I can’t speak for anyone else, but Thanksgiving, to me, is a time for family and for thanking your lucky stars for the good things in your life, whatever those may be. It’s a quiet time centered on family, food, and football. For some of us it is a time for sweating with an oldie at the local Turkey Trot 5k. For others it is a time for giving back to the community. It’s a holiday that is constantly being overlooked, shunned and disrespected by the big retailers. Why? It’s not a big moneymaker.
We’ve gotten away from our original intents about what the holiday season means. Christmas and Chanukah have become more about gifts and spending money than about family, food, and football. What can we do about this problem? At first I thought we could just create more legislation. I quickly realized that is the last thing we need, I have a hard enough time keeping up. Maybe we should just insert a few sentences or phrases, in the Bill of Rights, to address this problem.
The Bill of Rights are the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. They were amended because the founding fathers decided there weren’t enough protections for the general population and they tried to make amends for a too strong government. I thought this would be a perfect place for inserting some restrictions on the Holiday Shopping Season, before ‘they’ start encroaching on the July 4th celebrations.
I propose the day after Thanksgiving for the official opening of the Holiday Shopping Season. No Christmas music, or festivals, or decorations, or anything related to Christmas, can be displayed before Black Friday. I will allow the Thanksgiving paper to have ads for Black Friday sales as I really enjoy the extra Sunday paper on Thursday.
Here are the first 10 amendments to the constitution. I’ve just added a couple of provisions here and there:
First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech (unless it has to do with speech about Christmas before Thanksgiving), or of the press (except for instances of holiday ads before Thanksgiving); or the right of the people peaceably to assemble (except if you are assembling in front of Big Box Store for the best deals on Black Friday, especially if that Black Friday sale now starts on Thanksgiving Day! WalMart, you should be ashamed! Sleep in and get to the store at a reasonable hour like the rest of us), and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (clarification – I will petition the government if you insist on annoying us with Christmas music before it is time. Beware – I have a lot of grievances.).
Second Amendment – A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a (Christmas music) free State (before Thanksgiving), the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (The militia will be needed to enforce strict Thanksgiving rules – see First Amendment.)
Third Amendment – No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner (come on home, my military friends, and enjoy a Thanksgiving with your family – Thank You for your service – enjoy it Christmas free at home), nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law (new law – no Holiday decorations before Thanksgiving).
Fourth Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (none of which involves pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Shopping craziness – then you have no rights), against unreasonable searches and seizures (unless you have a giant inflatable Santa in your front yard in early November), shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched (all big box stores – including their hidey-holes under the stairs – will be searched for decorations daily in October and November), and the persons or things to be seized.
Fifth Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger (public danger being exposure to two solid months of Holiday decorations and music); nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself (you cannot plead the fifth in a trial against human nature aka The Thanksgiving Day Trial. Did you or did you not play Mariah Carey’s Christmas album on November 9th Arbys?), nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Sixth Amendment – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury (good luck finding people not annoyed by the Holiday Season by the time Christmas finally comes around if you start celebrating in October) of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Seventh Amendment – In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. (At a quick glance – I have no idea what is going on here – we’ll skip this one)
Eighth Amendment – Excessive bail shall not be required (unless it is a pre-Thanksgiving offense, then bail will be ginormously excessive), nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted (oh, it will be cruel and unusual if we catch you with mistletoe before Thanksgiving).
Ninth Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights (like the Holiday Season shall only last 4 weeks), shall not be construed to deny or disparage others (unless said people were annoying in their too early celebrations, then deny and disparage to your heart’s content) retained by the (like-minded) people.
Tenth Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the (designated) people (appointed by Jenn, an avid, lets-wait-until-after Thanksgiving to put the tree up and play Christmas music, person.).
If nothing else, I haven’t read through these amendments in a very long time. Actually, I can’t remember back that far. It’s nice to brush up on our individual rights – you never know when you might need one.
Happy Thanksgiving, don’t eat too much at once, spread it out over the entire weekend.