There are plenty of things to get bent about these days, so rather than dive into federal and international politics, gender, the environment and ISIS shooting down planes, we are opting for something closer to home: Christmas.
There are two schools of though. The first being the retailer point of view. For many, especially the small, local retail shops, Christmas is the singular time of the year they can make their nut and stay in business. Having a longer Christmas season is one way to ensure they make enough to stay afloat.
The other school of thought is that we should hold off and officially open the Christmas season November 12th. This would give consumers a break from hearing the Andy Williams Christmas Album on endless repeat over the store audio system until after Remembrance Day.
We are of two minds here. Yes, Christmas is a big time for businesses large and small, but for the love of mercy, we don’t need to start the Christmas décor just after Labour Day do we? The other side is that Remembrance Day, at least in Canada and a goodly piece of the Commonwealth, is a fairly somber observance, so the whole joyous season of celebration thing is a little out of place.
Marylou used to work at Eaton’s many years ago as a copywriter, creating deathless prose for haberdashery, white goods and all the other stuff that Eaton’s sold. They had a corporate copy standard of “Thall Shall Not Advertise Christmas Until After Remembrance Day” Come November 12th it was wall to wall Christmas, but not a mention until the 12th. This strikes us as a touch paternalistic coming from the Scottish Protestant ethic of the founding family of Timothy Eaton.
What we know we don’t want as consumers is to be beaten with the retail equivalent of a cat o’ nine tails while we’re still in our summer attire. Especially in Canada, we don’t want to see artificial snow and laden pine boughs when we know that shortly we will be unearthing the car from two feet of the real thing after spending four hours trying to find the windshield scraper that was under the deck mister, fourteen planter boxes and a turtle pool.
The other branch of the No Christmas Until November 12th line is the dearth of Christmas Music. In a previous career, we worked in radio, on-air. The Program Director decreed that we would start playing Christmas music around the beginning of November, one song an hour, eventually ramping up to wall-to wall Christmas Music from the top of December until after New Year’s Day. We have heard every Christmas song ever recorded and this includes Christmas with The Chipmunks, Vol 1 and Vol 2. , all the tracks. Finding enough Canadian Content with at least 3 of the four MAPL designations was almost impossible as even Anne Murray didn’t release a Christmas album until 1981.
The clever reader will note we haven’t used the term “holiday” or “seasonal” in our descriptions. It’s Christmas around here and you can either deal with it or do something unpleasant and unsanitary. We are fully inclusive when it comes to Eidain festivals, Diwali, Samhain, Yom Kippur, and any other religious or pseudo-religious holiday observances you might have. This is our turn: You get your turn too. Move on.
We’re siding towards holding Christmas in abeyance until after November 11th, if only for reasons of mental hygiene. There is only so much enforced good-will-towards-men we can tolerate in two months, while the retailers and advertisers guilt you into parting with money you don’t have to buy things for people you don’t care about. Not Bah-Humbug, but let us have a tiny scrap or two of decorum please?
At least until November 12th.