For weeks, my email in-box has been stuffed. I have discovered that rather than patronizing one or two major merchants for all my shopping needs, I spread the shopping love around. Large stores, small stores, local stores, online stores. Hardware stores, clothing stores, kitchen stores, tech stores. There are stores I go to when shopping for myself, stores I know that have just what Mrs Dr Peterr needs, and stores that The Kid adores, plus all of those other places that have the things I need when I shop for others.

And every one of them — every single one of them — has been sending me holiday messages for the last several weeks.

Before Black Friday, they were teasing their doorbuster sales, and then it was their Cyber Monday deals. “Here’s our three day deal . .  .” became “Shop now, before things run out . . .” which turned into “Hurry — only six hours left!” which was followed two hours later by “Only four hours left” and then by a then two hour warning. In the past week, they have been giving the countdown to Free Shipping, then “We can still get it to you by Christmas” and then “Gift cards make great stocking stuffers, and you can print it out at home!” I awoke this morning with relief: finally, Christmas is here, and the emails will stop.

Boy, was I wrong.

The email box had messages with subject lines like “Check out our After Christmas sales!” and “Didn’t get what you want?”

Years ago, a wise prophet named Tom Lehrer said to his audience that all our Christmas carols failed to capture the true meaning of the season, so he wrote one to remedy the situation.

As for me, I’ll stick with the songs that tell a different story — a story of hope. Oh, and I’ll be looking at all those emails, and thanking those stores that showed some restraint.

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Photo h/t and my condolences to Bobbie Johnson, who appears to have the same issue. (Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)