Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 14, 2012

VINCENT DAVIS: How Amazon ruined Christmas

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — If you follow the news in any format closely enough you are bound to find at least one story about a “War on Christmas.”

It might be about an elementary school teacher who “Grinches out” and casts doubts regarding the validity of this ‘Santa’ character in the minds of their young students, or angry back and forth between people who don’t feel comfortable with how close a living nativity scene is to their homes and the diehard live nativity fans of the world.

These articles will all point the finger at some group or team or conspiracy. But in reality, Christmas’ most formidable enemy is none other than the behemoth that is online shopping and their reigning king, AMAZON.com.

As a child I remember how wonderful it felt to walk into a mall that had literally been turned into a winter wonderland complete with indoor trains and trees taller than I was. When I was a cool tween/teen I enjoyed complaining about being embarrassed by my family when we went on shopping trips, but I hoped to someday be like my hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Jingle All the Way,” fighting through the holiday shopping crowds and eventually reconciling with my nemesis, Sinbad.

But here I am sitting in my living room trying to figure out the absolute latest day I can buy everything on my Amazon wish list and still have it shipped to my family before Christmas.

You used to have to bundle up, drive through at least one snow storm, and get in a screaming match with someone’s mom in the parking lot before you could even get inside the store to start shopping. Look at me now, I’m half way through my shopping list and I’ve been wearing nothing but sweatpants and free t-shirts from 5k’s I didn’t run all month.

I don’t mean to be the Andy Rooney of Christmas and complain about how things were so much better in the past; they weren’t that great (see: having to drive through snow storms) and in a lot of ways Christmas is much better now than it was circa the filming of “A Christmas Story” (see: wearing sweatpants all the time), but we’re nearing the final countdown to Christmas and I have heard José Feliciano’s timeless Christmas classic, “Feliz Navidad” a grand total of zero times this year. I’m sure many would agree that this is nothing short of a tragedy.

The world gets smaller every year and the pace of life seems to get faster every day. It feels like Justin Bieber has released more Christmas albums than there are Christmas songs and yes, if you slept in on black Friday you’ve probably missed your only chance to be a part of a potential riot where the average age of participants is over 30.

There’s a lot to keep up with, but Christmas is not lost, there is still hope.

As we near the part of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” where things start to get increasingly weird (‘ten lords-a-leaping’?) take a day and just sit in traffic while the radio plays nothing but Christmas carols on every station, run out to the mall on Christmas Eve for a last second bargain, watch “A Christmas Story” on the 24-hour TNT marathon, complete with commercials instead of just watching it on Blu-ray, and most importantly, take some time to hug the people closest to you and remind them that you love them.

Remember: Amazon wrapping paper is the same color every day, but Christmas comes but once a year.