Off the Couch: Christmas creep is not a Dickens character

Off the Couch: Christmas creep is not a Dickens character

November 13th, 2017 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

Heather Lone of Cleveland, Tenn., looks at items at the Chattanooga Market at the First Tennessee Pavilion Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Lone was looking for unique gifts for Christmas.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, when I first heard the term "Christmas creep," I thought it was some character in a Dickens or Farrelly brothers story. Apparently it refers to the notion that the Christmas holidays move closer and closer to the Fourth of July every year. They used to start the day after Thanksgiving, but we've had holiday music on local radio stations for weeks now, and the Santas that have already appeared at local malls are tanned and wearing Bermuda shorts.

LISA DENTON: Even with my Santa fetish, I don't want to see the big guy out of uniform, so to speak. So ix-nay on the Bermuda shorts. I only want to think of Santa bundled up at the North Pole, not lounging on the beach in Tahiti. That's part of the magic of Christmas.

BARRY: I get it to some degree. There are not enough weekends to hold all of the events anymore. And there are a lot of pretty cool events already on the calendar. Mannheim Streamroller Christmas is Saturday at the Tivoli, for example. The East Ridge Christmas Parade is earlier that day.

LISA: Our own HoHo Expo is Saturday and Sunday. There'll be more than 100 vendors with gifts and decor, so it's a good way to get a jump-start on your shopping list. I've purchased several presents already — even a few for people besides myself — but I like going to the expo because all the goods are in one place.

BARRY: That's shopping for me. If I can get something for everyone on my list in one place, and maybe a corn dog and a Co-Cola, it's a good day. I kid, but not much. There is a lot of variety at the expo, and it is a good place to shop.

Shoppers peruse the goods at last year's HoHo Expo, a holiday shopping extravaganza presented by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. This year's expo is next Saturday and Sunday.

Shoppers peruse the goods at last year's HoHo...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

LISA: And the Chattanooga Music Club's "Holiday Spectacular" is Tuesday at Memorial Auditorium. That's always one of the first events to usher in the holidays. This year's guest artist is organist Luke Staislunas, and they'll have the MidSouth Community Band and Chattanooga Christian School concert choir. They'll be doing sacred and secular Christmas favorites, everything from "Sleigh Ride" to "Angels From the Realms of Glory."

BARRY: This isn't holiday related, but it's a nice gift idea for foodies. Alton Brown will bring "Live: Eat Your Science" to the Tivoli on Sunday night. I got to meet him a few years ago at Chattanooga Market. He not only plays a foodie on TV, he is one in real life.

He sings, he tells jokes, there's a multimedia component and there is some food talk. Sounds like a typical night in my kitchen.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

Hundreds attend the grand opening of The Commons in Collegedale. The Grand Opening Festivities and Town Christmas Tree Lighting was sponsored by the city of Collegedale and the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.
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