Christmas season: Starting way too early?
“Christmas creep” is again upon us, said Alisha Harris in The New York Times. The premature decorations started going up in downtowns and malls even before the leaves were raked in October; the maddening sound of carols invaded the radio weeks ahead of Thanksgiving; the store shelves were gorged with tinsel and holiday sales—all while it was still 60 degrees outside. I, for one, don’t mind it, eager as I am for an advance on holiday cheer to get me through dark days when “the sun begins setting around 4:30.” But if you’re one of the rare souls like me who welcome Christmas creep, know this: “You will be shamed. You will be judged. Your homeowners’ association will demand that you remove the inflatable snowman from your front yard because it’s ‘too early.’” Early November is too early, said the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in an editorial. When Christmas season begins before Thanksgiving, that holiday’s worthy message of gratitude gets swallowed in a sea of “red and green decorations.”
The retail industry is primarily to blame, said Tanya Chen and Stephanie McNeal in BuzzFeedNews.com. Total holiday sales are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion this year, or at least 20 percent of most stores’ annual total. Last year, a poll found that 21 percent of holiday shoppers planned to start in October and 18 percent in September in order to beat the rush. People have been complaining about early Christmas for years, but “it’s never been this bad.” There’s real reason to fear that “corporations trying to sell us stuff” will “slowly suck all the joy out of the season.”
Sorry, but I feel great joy at getting an early start on my Christmas shopping, said Andrea Hanis in the Chicago Tribune. Indeed, those of us who hope to create a perfect holiday know that Christmas is “won or lost” in July. That’s when months of “dizzying preparation” for Christmas gifts and celebrations should begin. The “matching plaid pajamas for the entire extended family, plus the dog and cat,” are best purchased in August, when inventories are still flush; the chimney sweep hired in October; and the spice rack and baking shelf replenished no later than November. So, “deny and delay if you must. But please spare those who sensibly toil in advance from your whiny complaints about seasonal creep.” ■