The Christmas push

Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Maybe it’s the looming credit card debt, the need to start shopping, the list of gifts that keeps growing or mentally preparing for awkward moments at a Christmas work party — but the stress is enough to drive anyone to “Scrooge-dom.” Christmas is over a month away and yet stores are decked out in all their Christmas best, Christmas songs are playing and decorations are on sale. But what kind of marathon are we running here? How can I be expected to be Christmas cheerful from Nov. 1 straight through ‘til the big day?
Starbucks rolled out their holiday beverages Nov. 3, and although I love a peppermint mocha and an eggnog latte, it just all feels like a bit too much too soon. I don’t know if I have the endurance to last till Christmas. I can pump myself up on sugar and caffeine and put on a smile, but it just might not be enough.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been big on Christmas as it is. I’m a December baby, so before I was old enough to think about the religious precedence I got jipped on a few too many presents to fall in love. As a Christian I find the lights, glamour, garland and gifts all too distracting to think Christmas is at all a religious event, unless you worship mega sales and DIY holiday crafts.
The swirl of TV talk shows showing me how to decorate the perfect tree, letting me know that trees don’t need toppers anymore and that feathers are the hippest new garland are all too reminding of the show we put on for others in this celebration. But who hasn’t complained about the commerciality of Christmas? You’ve likely read this article a million times. But I’m not suggesting we cut back on the commerciality of Christmas, because that’s been said a million times. What I want to suggest is a delay on the craziness. Christmas season starts in the U.S. after Veteran’s Day. You don’t see a big rollout of garlands and lights in malls till that following week. It’s by no means a lowering of the commercial focus, but it shortens the marathon were running.
I love Christmas, and I would rather not be the one at the dinner table looking more like they’ve been dragged to a funeral than surrounded by the people they love eating the best meal they’ve seen all year. I just want to see the push pushed back a couple weeks.
Furthermore, there is another reason for the push back I’d like to put forward. I’m sure some people probably think Remembrance Day is just about fun poppy pins. Shocking as it may be for a few of you, it isn’t. Men and women sacrificed their lives for peace, and brave people are still doing the same today. These are the people we show respect to with a small donation and the wearing of a bright red flower on our coat. But what kind of respect are we showing when our little red pin is only outdone by the snowflake painted windows and stores decorated like pictures out of Santa Claus’ dream world. The little red flowers we wear to respect our veterans only looks like a mini poinsettia pin in the flood of commercial Christmas nonsense.
Christmas season shouldn’t start Nov. 1. It’s not only just additional stress to keep up appearances and start warming up your credit card. But if we start the marathon this early, how can we make it? And when we start this early do we truly remember those that deserve our thoughts for at least one day a year? It’s not a revelation to hear that Christmas is too commercialized, but can we at least contain this madness to six weeks? Maybe it’s a lot to ask Canadians to be more like Americans, but for the respect of our veterans, I wish it wasn’t a lot to ask.