Editor’s note: The following column by the late southern sports columnist and humorist Lewis Grizzard was originally published in December 1989.

It’s time we did something about Christmas. It comes too early.

You know that and I know that, but we still allow retailers to begin pushing Christmas sales on us as soon as they have sold all their charcoal grills for Labor Day.

The first Christmas commercial I saw on television this year was on Oct. 22. I marked it on my calendar. It was two days after my birthday.

It was one of those record offers: “Every Christmas song ever written!” Featuring Willie Nelson, Box Car Willie, Johnny Mathis, Johnny Ray, Beverly Stills, George Beverly Shea, Bing Crosby, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Eddie Cantor, Eddie Fisher, Eddie Arnold, Eddie Albert, Duane Eddy, Mr. Ed., Kiss, Bread, Cream, AC/DC, AM/FM, BC/AD, UC/LA, B.O. and a guy named Harvey who plays “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” on a bicycle pump.

Then, you get that number to call, except for people from Nebraska who always get a separate number. I’ve never quite figured out what’s the deal about Nebraska.

Do they have something special for Nebraskans like Alvin and the Chipmunks singing a dirty version of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”?

I wish Congress would enact some kind of measure that would keep Christmas down to a minimum.

I wouldn’t mind if Christmas didn’t start until the middle of December. That would still give everybody two weeks to do their shopping.

If you need more than two weeks to do your Christmas shopping you’re spending way too much money anyway.

But I’ll go with a new law that says Christmas can’t start until the day after Thanksgiving.

There can be no visits from Santa Claus in any mall until the day after Thanksgiving.

Nobody can use “Just in time for Christmas” in any advertisement until the day after Thanksgiving.

No television commercials can feature Santa Claus riding an electric razor in the snow until the day after Thanksgiving.

Nobody can advertise a pocket fisherman, a Mr. Microphone or a set of Ginsu knives until the day after Thanksgiving.

Your mother can’t start calling and making you feel guilty if you’re not planning to go home for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.

No radio station can play “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy (or Daddy Looked a Lot Like Him)” by Buck Owens until the day after Thanksgiving. And that goes double for the record where those idiot dogs bark “Jingle Bells.”

Your girlfriend can’t start talking about you giving her an engagement ring for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.

Budweiser can’t air a commercial showing those horses with the big feet pulling a sleigh full of brew up to a house — where a bunch of guys probably are waiting to get sloshed — until the day after Thanksgiving.

Except in Nebraska.

I think if we passed a law like that, Christmas will become less commercialized, less stressful and much more meaningful. That is, if anybody still has any idea how this all got started in the first place.

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