Please: Christmas does not begin on Nov. 1

November 6, 2007

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Okay, people. Enough is enough. Every year it starts earlier, and earlier, and earlier. Well, maybe not really — after all, I'm not seeing Christmas stuff in August yet, so there must be some sort of graduated push-back schedule. But I'm pretty sure that at some point earlier in my lifetime, Christmas season did not begin until around Thanksgiving. It has slowly gotten pushed earlier, and now Christmas begins as soon as Halloween ends.

(By the way, Halloween "season" does NOT begin in EARLY SEPTEMBER, so cut it out already.)

Check this shit out (Fig. 1). It's Christmas season. Why? Because I said so! See: An evergreen tree with ornaments, and snow and ice and cold. But mostly I just want you to buy something. Look! Buy this tree! Hurry! Only 49 days until Christmas!

Is this really necessary? Do we need the Christmas decorations to go up the moment the Halloween decorations come down? Do we need radio stations that go into all-Christmas-music-all-the-time mode on the first day of November? Do we need Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti in a lame-looking Christmas comedy on Nov. 9? Do we need last year's lame Christmas comedy, "Deck the Halls," deliberately held off for months and months 'til the season came 'round again, to be released on DVD on Nov. 6?

No, we do not. We need those things in about four weeks at the earliest. NOT NOW. I for one don't want to celebrate Christmas for two months.

Last week, on Nov. 2, I walked into a department store. Already, everything was Christmas. The trees and ornaments and poinsettia leaves were everywhere throughout the store. I'm not trying to be a Scrooge or anything, but gimme a break. It was Nov. 2. NOVEMBER FREAKING SECOND!

This past weekend I was channeling around, and I came across home shopping cable network QVC. On it, some woman was trying to sell jewelry. On the set behind her was a Christmas tree. All the screen graphics were red and green, and there was a graphic that said "Great Gifts" in the corner of the screen. The date: Nov. 3. NOVEMBER FREAKING THIRD!

What annoys me about this pushing up of the season, is that it's all for the sake of sales. The only reason Christmas season is starting now is because retailers want you to buy buy buy for as long a period as they can sucker you into buying. Because Christmas in this country, as we all know, above all else, is about retail sales.

Four weeks ago, on an unseasonably hot October day, it was 90 degrees across much of the Midwest. It felt like July. And now it's suddenly Christmas. Whatever happened to that season called "fall"? It's supposed to be now, but now what I see are TV commercials with snow on the ground and retailers trying to cash in on Christmas as much and as early as possible.

I think that from Nov. 1 until Thanksgiving, we should have autumn. Not a season based on money-making holidays or Christmas commercial campaigns, but a season based on falling leaves, cooling temperatures, shorter days, and that's it.

Yeah, right. I should keep on dreaming. Or come up with great gift ideas for Thanksgiving. If retailers could sell Thanksgiving the way they can sell Christmas, I would maybe get my autumn. But then Thanksgiving "season" would surely start sometime around Labor Day.

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16 comments on this post

    Of course this sucks, but why celebrate a now-purely commercial holiday anyway? You should go to Asia, hardly anyone is Christian and yet they sing along to Christmas tunes and decore everything for the shopping spree. Horrible - that's worth a rant right there.

    I like Christmas during the two weeks where it SHOULD be 'celebrated'. Its something to cheer you up in the deepest depressing darkness that is the month of December. But I've now seen Christmas adverts PRE-November, for about the last 3 weeks. Its horrible

    Not often I disagree with Jammer's rants, but... I love Christmas. I went to a catholic school, so naturally I don't believe in God. It is hard to believe in a magic man in the sky when you are force-fed his magic tricks, sorry, 'miracles', on a daily basis. So I love Christmas for the commercial appeal. I love the decorations in the shops, the decorations the small towns put up, the Christmas music and muzak piped over the stores sound system. As I do all my Christmas shopping at the end of October/ beginning of November, I can watch the crowds of people desperately scrabbling, with mild amusement and an air of (anally retentive) superiority. The Christmas stock (chocolate, advent calendars, stocking-fillers, etc) went up in Asda/Wallmart about October 15, then went into full swing as the Halloween tat came down. Every year for my 30 ish years on the planet, people say "Oh, Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year." I can only assume that the year before my birth, Christmas didn't start until 11:59 PM on Christmas eve, and its all been 'downhill' since then. I've just shifted a load of tat on Ebay as "Ideal Christmas gift!!!" and "Ideal stocking filler!!!" and my conscience is clear. Then again, I don't actually have a conscience.

    Edit--->>> I wasn't implying that you guys DIDN'T like Christmas. I meant that I like that it starts early as I enjoy it.

    Thanksgiving Day defines the dividing line between the rest of the year and Christmas. Heretics will not be tolerated!

    I don't tend to take the time to comment on things, but I feel the need to chime in here for two reasons. First, I completely agree - things are being pushed back TOO FAR. On my way home on October 31st (about 6pm) I decided to stop by the supermarket to get some extra candy. Where the candy displays had been a couple days before there was already little trees and chocolate elves! I couldn't even FIND little candy bars or chips or anything. And it wasn't even Halloween night yet! Used to be that you could pick up stuff for cheap the day after. So much for that theory, you can't even get stuff the day of anymore. (I ended up going to the drugstore of all places. They had a wreath on the door, but candy was still out.) Secondly, just a reminder from a guy up north that Canadians have their Thanksgiving in October. So with no "holiday" in November, I'm inclined to be a bit more forgiving... but not when stores can't even wait until at least freaking NOVEMBER!

    Irony of the day: I bitch and whine about Christmas capitalism starting too early, and what do I see on my own blog page but a big graphical ad about Christmas trees. Guess Google Adsense has made me a hypocrite. :)

    The sad thing is, you think it's bad where you are, but here in the UK Christmas starts pretty much after the "back to school" week. As soon as our town's Woolies puts away the back to school stuff, they put out the Christmas stuff. As soon as they put away the Boxing Day stuff, they bring out the Easter stuff. Nothing is more sad and, indeed, cynically funny than going past on a hot September day and seeing a background of Snow and tinsel in the cornershop window.

    Jammer. I totally 100% agree. I've long been annoyed by retials tendency to push Christmas earlier and earlier. I'm currently working at Home Depot, and they started putting out Christmas stuff, Mid October!

    I work at a grocery store and we just put up tons of decorations and are already playing Christmas music... driving me insane. But on the other hand, I'm canadian so we don't have thanksgiving still to come, so Xmas really is the next holiday. So it makes a little more sense.... but not much.

    I am a christian, so obiously you know what Christmas means to me. I do agree with jammer 100% because people are dumbed down by the media and are told when to start doing things by huge corporations that want to start calling it something else. Listen people, don't let some idiot in a plush office somewhere make you resent this season, just take the time to enjoy your family and friends. If you have children, make this holiday as family oriented as possible. And finally, do something for someone else instead of yourself, because this is what Christmas was supposed to be about anyway. Happy holidays and merry Christmas!

    Dude, I heard Christmas music being played on the radio ON HALLOWEEN. It made me blog a similar rant on my LiveJournal. I remember not doing ANYTHING Christmas related until the day after Thanksgiving. My family STILL doesn't, but everyone around us seems determined to passive-aggressively wear down our resolve (it's not working, but that's how it seems). I've already seen several houses decked out with Christmas lights.

    I knew someone who was a manager of a Hallmark store and as far back as 2001 (and before that) they put their Christmas aisle up in July. The reason? Customers bought the stuff. Always looked weird to me and I'd make fun of it, getting cross looks from her and the employees. Silly. Have a great day... RT

    If I recall correctly, I've seen Christmas adverts and sales in mid-July! I'm not even kidding! Does that make this situation even more bizarre?

    Or why not check out Nordstrom? Their stores do not sell Christmas-based merchandise nor do they do Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, which should be a relief from all the unseasonably premature sales.

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