Too early for Christmas, but not giving
by Ed Wendell
Nov 05, 2013 | 741 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A classic car decked out for the holidays.
A classic car decked out for the holidays.
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I saw something truly disturbing this Halloween: a Christmas tree on display in one of our stores. In fact, I spotted many Christmas displays as I walked down Jamaica Avenue surrounded by children trick-or-treating.

Simply put, it’s too damn early. There used to be a time that Christmas waited until December. At the very least, it waited until after Thanksgiving. Now they don’t even wait until Halloween is over before they start pushing Christmas on us.

I understand the desire that businesses have to extend the Christmas season. Apart from selling turkeys, cranberry sauce, and cardboard pictures of turkeys and pilgrims, there’s not a ton of money to be made from Thanksgiving.

People didn’t like Christmas leapfrogging Thanksgiving, but it eventually became the norm. And you know how the old saying goes – "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile." And that’s how we ended up with 10-year-old flesh-eating zombies mingling with Christmas trees on Jamaica Avenue this Halloween.

Christmas in Woodhaven has turned into a two-month long shopping season. That’s one-sixth of our year. That’s twice as long as it should be.

If stores are going to trample over Thanksgiving and start stepping up their sales to October, I’m going to start paying attention and spending my money in stores that don’t. I don’t expect that my dollars will make much of a difference, but maybe if we all did that we’d reverse the trend a bit and return some balance to our holidays.

One Christmas tradition you can never start too early is the act of giving to those who are in need of help. Caring for others is actually a year-round tradition, but the Christmas season does seem to bring that spirit out in a lot of people.

This year, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is going to participate in the East Coast Car Association’s Toys for Tots collection drive. The toys will be given to the children of St. Mary's Healthcare in Bayside, which provides long-term care to children with serious medical conditions.

We are asking residents to donate one unwrapped children’s gift. No stuffed animals please, and educational gifts are preferred. Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association will be at the office at 84-20 Jamaica Avenue collecting toys on Saturday, November 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, November 12, from 5 to 7 p.m.; Thursday, November 14, from 5 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, November 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you cannot drop off a gift during those hours, you can contact us by phone at (718) 296-3735 or by email at info@woodhaven-nyc.org. You can also drop off any gifts with Charlie in Spirare Cleaning directly next door to our office.

These toys will be taken directly to St. Mary’s in Bayside as part of the East Coast Car Association’s Annual Toy Run on Sunday, November 17. This is a great event to come out and watch. The classic cars will begin assembling in the Forest Park Bandshell parking lot at 9 a.m. The run to Bayside begins around noon.

The East Coast Car Association raises money all year for the children of St. Mary’s, which they present at the end of the toy run. Last year, they raised over $9,000. The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association is proud to participate in this year’s toy run, and we hope that our residents will consider donating a toy to the children of St. Mary’s.

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