I sighted the first Christmas decorations of the 2006 shopping season today. Cabella was the first business to send their Christmas catolog this year, beating the rest of the pack on October 20. Right on their heels came L.L. Bean on the 23rd. You can bet more are on the way, already stacked up in some bulk mail distribution center in North Dakota.
I'd like to do something useful with these catalogs rather than start fires and cause many a postal worker's back ache. Something like what I came up with last year to deal with all those credit card offers that jam up my mail box. It makes me giddy to think about the havoc I am wreaking single handedly upon those multinational banking corporations that jack up the consumer debt by making credit cards too readily available.
I save the credit applications until I get about ten, then write "NO THANKS" with a big Sharpie across the applications. I send the application, along with the original mailing envelope, a few Val-Pack coupons, and a folded up grocery store sale paper, all in the postage paid envelope so conveniently provided by the credit card company.
Sometimes when I'm feeling really "mailicious" I'll write little notes like, "Would you mind recycling this for me?" on the application. Or, "Let's keep working together to keep the USPS in business." Or my favorite, "Hey, look at this credit card offer from Bank XYZ, it's much better than yours."
I realized after a few months there would be no backlash, so I got a little too mean and started to include things like the tops to milk jugs, wet paper towels, and small scraps of food from the dinner table. I thought the ketchup leaking through the envelope would stop the companies from sending the offers, but I was wrong. So I soldier on, quietly fighting the good fight against the man.
This year I'm thinking I'll include a few pages from the Christmas catalogs in my returned credit card offers. At least the poor guy removing the shreds of my over-stuffed envelope from the processing machinery at Citibank or Discover can enjoy the Victoria's Secret models.
'tis the season to spread Christmas cheer.