Went to lunch today, and the restaurant was playing Christmas music, two days before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t entirely their fault; they were just playing KOST, and the radio station had gone into full Christmas mode.

Now, I normally like hearing Christmas music on the radio. It’s one of the few times of year that you hear a variety of music styles (many of them otherwise vanished from the radio) without playing them yourself. Though after a while it does start to grate, especially when they overplay the same few songs. But come on, at least wait until Friday!

I guess it’s official: Thanksgiving no longer exists as its own entity. We’re now going straight from Halloween to Christmas. “Turkey Day” is just the pre-Christmas get-together.

Does anyone remember the story of the kid who wished for it to be Christmas every day, and it happened, and then suddenly Christmas wasn’t special anymore?

This weekend we went out to see The Prestige, which was quite good. The next theater over was running The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D, and we figured, what the heck? After the first movie, we got tickets for another.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies, but for some reason the 3D release didn’t really interest me when I first heard about it. It felt too gimmicky, like when they project a regular movie on an IMAX screen even though the movie itself isn’t really made for that format.

I got a little more interested when I read an article about how they did it. ILM essentially re-did the entire movie as a computer-animated film, matching each frame exactly, then shifted the virtual camera over a bit. One eye gets the original film, and the other eye gets the CGI copy.

I was astonished at how seamlessly they matched. I couldn’t remember which eye got the original, and I honestly couldn’t tell. Most CGI-animated films have a cartoony, sort of vinyl look to them, which would not blend at all, but ILM is used to matching their CGI to photographed actors and sets, which I suppose makes them the ideal animation studio for this sort of thing. It had to be the most effective reformatting of a film that I’ve ever seen—compare it to colorizing movies, or the Star Wars special editions (which were done by the same effects house, but with older technology)—because it didn’t detract (or distract) from what was there in the first place.

Of course, it wasn’t long before I stopped looking at the technical merits and just settled into watching the movie.

Having re-watched it, I’m now very interested to see what director Henry Selick does with the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book, Coraline

The Macy’s in the Laguna Hills Mall has a small storefront for seasonal products. In the lead-up to Christmas it’s full of decorations, ornaments, wrapping paper, and such. During the summer, it was swimwear. (I’m not sure what they use it for in winter.)

I walked by today, and they seem to be in transition:

Macy's Swim... with Christmas Trees!

The mismatch was so odd that it didn’t even hit me until several minutes later that this was the earliest example of holiday creep I’ve ever seen.

Sports bar and grill advertising 'Cinco de Drinko'

Now there’s someone who has their priorities lined up. You can tell they’ve got a deep understanding of the true meaning of the holiday. Forget all that Mexican military victory stuff—it’s all about getting drunk on tequila and cervezas.

Actually, now that I think about it, that probably is more or less how most Americans celebrate May 5. The northeast has St. Patrick’s Day. The southwest has Cinco de Mayo. Suddenly, the similarities between the Irish and Mexican flags have taken on an entirely new significance.

As for this event, I think I would’ve gone with “Drinko de Mayo.” It fits the original phrasing better. But as Katie pointed out, that sounds too much like drinking mayonnaise—not something that’s going to bring in too many customers.

Spotted the following in a grocery store on Saturday, three days before Valentine’s Day.

Easter egg dye cups

I think the holiday decoration/candy/card industry has started selling two holidays ahead. Christmas stuff was out in October, with both Halloween and Thanksgiving ahead. Here’s Easter stuff on sale with both Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day in the future.

Decoration-wise, there’s not much between Easter and Independence Day. Sure, people get the day off for Memorial Day, but the closest you get to a themed aisle in the grocery store is that you can buy American flags in more places. After the big Fourth of July patriotic blow-out (which of course is on sale by June), the holiday-industrial complex doesn’t really get going again until October—though back-to-school sales seem to be getting earlier all the time. I wonder when they’ll start going straight into back-to-school from graduation sales?