Every year, usually beginning around mid-September (sometimes it fluctuates, depending on the particular year), many casual shoppers who are still in the mood to enjoy the Autumn/Fall season are abruptly reminded of the not-so-imminent arrival of Christmas, via department stores who are a little too gung-ho about displaying their merchandise and selling decorations far too early.
It’s a practice that feels as annual as the actual holidays that they celebrate, and just about everyone is bound to have encountered it at least once. From a business and marketing standpoint, it’s a bit easier to understand why it ever occurs – getting an early start on making a profit off of the most bankable holiday and possibly entire time of the year; it does make a lot of sense. But from the standpoint of both a consumer and somewhat of an enthusiast of Autumn, it’s pretty disconcerting.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do love Christmas. It’s as wonderful a time of year as the carols make it out to be and all that good stuff…but in December. Seeing Christmas trees and Santa Claus hats on sale right alongside jack-o-lanterns and harvest pumpkins is extremely jarring. It’s not easy to stay in the mood for one when the other is being constantly tossed your way, and the constant overexposure makes the actual arrival of Christmas feel less genuine when you’ve been subliminally reminded of it for the past two months.
Heck, once Halloween is over, department stores are so quick to shove Christmas down our throats, Thanksgiving almost seems like an afterthought, only good for stuffing our faces with admittedly delicious food, and releasing the latest installment of the Twilight/Hunger Games film franchise, or whatever current Young Adult series is most popular at the time.
And yet, for all my kvetching, I don’t really have much in the way of a solution to offer, nor do I even see an end in sight, for that matter. All we can really do to avoid this practice, aside from swearing off of shopping from September to November altogether (but let’s be real here), is just to ignore it whenever we see it. It seems to be working alright so far, and before we know it, it’ll actually be the appropriate time of year to see all the Christmas decorations on display everywhere.