Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The "Christmas Creep"

I like Christmas, I really do...but not UNTIL the actual season starts (which is on Thanksgiving Day, as far as I'm concerned). Over the past few years, I've noticed stores being afflicted by the "Christmas Creep"...putting merchandise & Christmas decorations up EARLIER AND EARLIER. Heck, last year I went into one store that had Christmas music playing over the the first week of October! In some cases, I've seen decorations going up as early as August!!! Last year the Wal-Mart by my house was putting up their Christmas Tree...on Halloween Day!!

This bugs me for several reasons. First up, it represents nothing more than a crass commercialism of the Yule season, with stores going for the quick cash grab in the off-season, hoping to get people in the mood to start their shopping earlier in the year. Second, it means that by the time Christmas actually rolls around I'm utterly sick of the music, lights and decorations...they become robbed of their special quality when they've been around for months on end.

The biggest reason this irks me? It steps all over my favorite holiday of Halloween, and usually means that Thanksgiving gets utterly ignored altogether. This year I noticed Target putting aisles of Christmas crap all around the Halloween section, with it growing every week as the Halloween aisles shrink. Damn it, enough is enough!!!!! Let Halloween and Thanksgiving have their time. Autumn belongs to these holidays, while Christmas and New Years can dominate winter (as it should be). We don't need to see tinsel and holley in August (unless those happen to be the names of your favorite strippers at the local topless bar). Let's put a stop to the "Christmas Creep" once and for all!


Wendy the (Very) Good Witch said...

Great blog post Gilly! Loved the cartoon, very funny and I could not agree with you more brutha! Wth? I just noticed the Christmas cards next to the Halloween section at Target on Monday and it irked me too. And I loved your point that Halloween and Thanksgiving belong to the Autumn and Christmas and New Years belong to the Winter. So very true.

Of course I guess there are those folks who cringe to see Halloween decorations out in August. BUT...what really belongs to the Summer anyway? July 4th and that's it. So a little encroachment at the tail end by Halloween does not bother me in the least. In fact, I happen to love it because by August, I am SO OVER the hot, humid summer that I need that little pick me up of the promise of spooky things to come when Falls arrives.

And I agree, by the time Christmas actually gets here....I'm sick of seeing, hearing and smelling it. I used to LOVE Christmas. We were married in December. Our wedding gifts were put under a Christmas Tree at the Plantation House where our reception was held. And that also marked the beginning of the end of my love for the holiday, as from that point on, it became a stressful, commercialized, crazy month and it lost all it's magic for me. My love for Hallowe'en endured however.

Guillaume said...

I hate the early Christmas displays too. It sppils two holidays: Halloween and Christmas itself. I think Halloween is "bullied" like this because it is often wrongly considered as an "evil" holiday. I have also another hypothesis: Halloween took many old Christmas traditions, such as the telling of ghost stories, to itself. Many XIXth century ghost stories are set during Christmastime. Now we associate horror and supernatural with another period of the year.

Anyway, back to my reading, then to watch some horror movies. I will put myself in the right mood for the season.

The Gill-Man said...

Guillaume, I think you hit the nail on the head with some folks proclaiming Halloween to be "evil" (which, in my mind, is absurd. Halloween is a way for us to confront evil and overcome our fears, but I digress).

Wens, I'm right there with ya! I DO like Christmas, but I used to LOVE it. Nowadays, I'm completely sick of it by the time it rolls around, and that is in large part due to the commercialism. Like you said, Halloween stuff starts to show up in late summer, but it really isn't the same thing, is it? What is Halloween really encroaching on? Labor Day? I also don't think Halloween dominates the way Christmas have to seek out the Halloween stuff at craft stores and what-not. The Christmas stuff, on the other hand, is right in your face early on.

Guillaume said...

Agreed, Halloween does not have the same domination as Christmas, even when it shows up early. And it does not show up that early very often anyway. In my case, I start thinking about it in late August/early September because it keeps my mind off the end of holidays (something I developed from an early age), but it is not a holiday that invades all public space, even in the week before the 31st.