Surprise, surprise. Turns out post Thanksgiving weekend retail sales were/are down. I suspect that the same people shop 'til they drop year after year. Give them more time to shop with the same amount of money something has to give and it did.
That and the suspicion that the "gift" being bought are pretty much for the buyers. I remember one year when mom took an old formal and reworked it into a lovely robe for my little sister. I still have the knitting instructions for the slippers we used to make. I could probably knock out a pair with my eyes closed. Same with knitted hats. We always made a lot more jams, jellies and kraut than WE needed because it all made good gifts. One year my room was awash in shredded foam for the Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls for the littlest sister.
Traditionally the Christmas tree went up the week before Christmas and went down at New Years. Providing the tree stayed green enough long enough. Ornaments were gradually collected. We still have two or three that were my grandmother's. Lots of lights to fill in the gaps.
Cars, TV's shop equipment? Christmas gifts? I watched film clips of the stores opening their doors on Thursday evening. Pushing, shoving, knocking other people down and not stopping to help them. Most of them looking like they were just this side of insane. Hell a security guard got trampled to death a few years ago. I think it was at a WalMart. If there's a War on Christmas it started about Halloween, hit the beaches on Thanksgiving and is being fought in your local mall. And we're losing. And whether you celebrate Christmas, the Winter Solstice, the Celtic pantheon or just want to hang with family, take a deep breath and enjoy watching the squirrels at the feeder we're losing. Big time.
We're working on Advent and the Solstice right now. We'll get around to Christmas when it is time.