Does Christmas Start Too Soon These Days?
December 5, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

Does Christmas start too soon these days?

Christmas is a time of unabashed joy, comfort and togetherness, enjoyed with friends and family at home as the year draws to a close. Or at least, that is what the tagline is supposed to be. It can be difficult to channel your Christmas spirit when there are still pumpkins in shop windows and it’s not even particularly cold outdoors. Why does it sometimes feel like Christmas gets earlier every year, and does dragging it out make it more of a chore than a holiday?

Christmas Creep

This is a merchandising phenomenon that occurs in the so-called ‘golden quarter’, or the three months before the end of the year, October, November and December. It was a term coined in the 1980s to describe the way the retail industry aims to take advantage of the shopping craze that is one consequence of the Christmas holidays approaching. Many stores try to use the hype surrounding Christmas to boost sales in this period of time, and it generally works – even for those who promote the holiday before Black Friday or Thanksgiving. It must be mentioned that this creep is not relegated to the winter season; rather, at every other point during the year, retail outlets find some holiday or event that can be exploited for their consumer base. Christmas is simply more hyped and obviously, more profitable.

Sad Students

Much like when the sun is shining down in June while students of all descriptions suffer through the main exam season, the build up to that is inevitably the Christmas exams. It’s a well-known fact, for those in second and third level education especially, that having to study for tests while your family sets up the tree, tinsel and stockings is a special kind of first-world problem. This all starts sometime in November, usually, just when you’re meant to be getting the nose to that grindstone. It’s impossible to relax by the fire with a beverage smelling of cinnamon when somewhere lurking is the mounds of revision you’ve been tactfully avoiding all weekend. It’s not easy to dodge all symptoms of Christmas either – it’s frosty and dark by 5pm, every shop you pass glitters with lights and stuffed reindeer, and you can’t learn off formulas when Mariah Carey is blasting in the next room. Speaking of which….

Broadcasting Bother

Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and that Frozen anthem that’s somehow seasonal – they all drop on you out of nowhere just as the last trick-or-treaters leave your doorstep… or so it seems. The Christmas creep isn’t just for merchants, as radio programmes and television specials decide to tinkle with sleigh bells no matter what you’re watching or listening to. It can get slightly ridiculous, as you’re forced to endure the endless loop of Christmas songs while at work, on public transport or even just once you’ve given up fighting it, sitting in traffic listening to the fifth rendition of ‘Fairytale of New York’ from the third station you’ve tried. The Top 10 list can get rusty after a week or two, it’s true, but there’s a standard that should be kept – namely, that all Christmas tunes are limited to December. Or even the second half of December. It does carry on.

Multicultural Multitudes

One aspect few consider of Christmas starting early and continuing for veritable months is that not everyone celebrates Christmas. It’s an inconvenience that Western civilisation can tend to forget, possibly wilfully overlook, since it is such a powerhouse of a holiday and it can be hard to comprehend that not everything is about us. However, with diversity becoming more of a feature in every nation around the globe, recognising other winter holidays and culturally significant events should be second nature to us by now. Christmas is more than Jesus’s historically inaccurate birthday by now, of course, it’s about the capitalism and time off work; still, in a country as inherently Catholic as Ireland, taking stock of others’ practises and divulging some noticeable measure of respect for them could go a long way towards us becoming as much of a melting pot as America and the UK. Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa are other winter holidays you may want to research, since it must feel quite oppressive sometimes to be surrounded by so much merriment focused on Christmas for a person who may not have grown up celebrating that.

Does Christmas start too early? I would say it depends on who you ask. There can be ‘too much of a good thing’, stretching something out until it ceases to be fun any longer, and then, there’s just making the most of a time you look forward to every year. But at least wait until the paper spiders are taken down. Bah, humbug.

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Does Christmas Start Too Soon These Days?
December 5, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

Does Christmas start too soon these days?

Christmas is a time of unabashed joy, comfort and togetherness, enjoyed with friends and family at home as the year draws to a close. Or at least, that is what the tagline is supposed to be. It can be difficult to channel your Christmas spirit when there are still pumpkins in shop windows and it’s not even particularly cold outdoors. Why does it sometimes feel like Christmas gets earlier every year, and does dragging it out make it more of a chore than a holiday?

Christmas Creep

This is a merchandising phenomenon that occurs in the so-called ‘golden quarter’, or the three months before the end of the year, October, November and December. It was a term coined in the 1980s to describe the way the retail industry aims to take advantage of the shopping craze that is one consequence of the Christmas holidays approaching. Many stores try to use the hype surrounding Christmas to boost sales in this period of time, and it generally works – even for those who promote the holiday before Black Friday or Thanksgiving. It must be mentioned that this creep is not relegated to the winter season; rather, at every other point during the year, retail outlets find some holiday or event that can be exploited for their consumer base. Christmas is simply more hyped and obviously, more profitable.

Sad Students

Much like when the sun is shining down in June while students of all descriptions suffer through the main exam season, the build up to that is inevitably the Christmas exams. It’s a well-known fact, for those in second and third level education especially, that having to study for tests while your family sets up the tree, tinsel and stockings is a special kind of first-world problem. This all starts sometime in November, usually, just when you’re meant to be getting the nose to that grindstone. It’s impossible to relax by the fire with a beverage smelling of cinnamon when somewhere lurking is the mounds of revision you’ve been tactfully avoiding all weekend. It’s not easy to dodge all symptoms of Christmas either – it’s frosty and dark by 5pm, every shop you pass glitters with lights and stuffed reindeer, and you can’t learn off formulas when Mariah Carey is blasting in the next room. Speaking of which….

Broadcasting Bother

Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and that Frozen anthem that’s somehow seasonal – they all drop on you out of nowhere just as the last trick-or-treaters leave your doorstep… or so it seems. The Christmas creep isn’t just for merchants, as radio programmes and television specials decide to tinkle with sleigh bells no matter what you’re watching or listening to. It can get slightly ridiculous, as you’re forced to endure the endless loop of Christmas songs while at work, on public transport or even just once you’ve given up fighting it, sitting in traffic listening to the fifth rendition of ‘Fairytale of New York’ from the third station you’ve tried. The Top 10 list can get rusty after a week or two, it’s true, but there’s a standard that should be kept – namely, that all Christmas tunes are limited to December. Or even the second half of December. It does carry on.

Multicultural Multitudes

One aspect few consider of Christmas starting early and continuing for veritable months is that not everyone celebrates Christmas. It’s an inconvenience that Western civilisation can tend to forget, possibly wilfully overlook, since it is such a powerhouse of a holiday and it can be hard to comprehend that not everything is about us. However, with diversity becoming more of a feature in every nation around the globe, recognising other winter holidays and culturally significant events should be second nature to us by now. Christmas is more than Jesus’s historically inaccurate birthday by now, of course, it’s about the capitalism and time off work; still, in a country as inherently Catholic as Ireland, taking stock of others’ practises and divulging some noticeable measure of respect for them could go a long way towards us becoming as much of a melting pot as America and the UK. Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa are other winter holidays you may want to research, since it must feel quite oppressive sometimes to be surrounded by so much merriment focused on Christmas for a person who may not have grown up celebrating that.

Does Christmas start too early? I would say it depends on who you ask. There can be ‘too much of a good thing’, stretching something out until it ceases to be fun any longer, and then, there’s just making the most of a time you look forward to every year. But at least wait until the paper spiders are taken down. Bah, humbug.



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