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Friday 10 October 2003

Christmas Is Coming

Here we are, not even halfway through October, and Christmas decorations have already appeared in the stores. For sale, at least; not too many places have decked the places out with holly and Santa Clauses yet.

Xmas tree balls
Christmas-tree balls for sale in Winchester, VA today.

I love Christmas, even the commonly-sneered-at ‘commercialized’ Christmas. I love mall Santas, and Christmas music everywhere, and wreaths of the fronts of the cars of the deranged, and Christmas-themed soft-drink packaging, and all of it. If there were a Power Rangers Christmas Special, I’d probably watch it.

But, while I am anxious for Christmastime to come, and while I am generally not one of these people who complains about Christmas decorations appearing in public too early, it does occur to me that having Christmas year-round would spoil it somewhat. They’re definitely pushing it this year.

Posted by tino at 22:51 10.10.03
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It isn’t just the United Stats that has this problem…..from the 27 October 2003 Irisih Independent:

SHOPS have been asked by the Government to delay Christmas advertising campaigns as a gesture of goodwill towards the less well-off, who feel the pressure to provide all the trimmings for their families.

The plea was made yesterday by Family Affairs Minister Mary Coughlan.

“The recent arrival of Christmas in the shops is putting families under pressure, especially those with young children,” said the Minister.

“The creeping commercialisation of Christmas makes it more expensive as shoppers yield to advertising and peer pressure.

“Christmas is no longer the great event that is anticipated from December 8, once the traditional first day of shopping and the season of Advent.

“It is now a marketing dream as it starts in mid-October, well before the arrival of the ghosts and pumpkins of Hallowe’en.

“Families with young children are being hit by advertisements, dressed shop windows and glitzy Christmas displays before Hallowe’en has even taken place.”

Ms Coughlan said she had contacted the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland asking them to consider requesting members “in the spirit of the season to impose a voluntary embargo on Christmas advertising and promotions until December as a gesture of goodwill”.

“For poor families in particular - and especially those with young children - the constant advertising and marketing is hardly a reminder of the joy of Christmas, but more the stress of trying to cope with an increasingly expensive celebration.”

She also confirmed that - despite “tougher economic times, nationally” - she had secured government approval for the payment of an extra week’s social welfare benefit in the period before Christmas.

“[This will] help people in need over this period,” she said.

Ms Coughlan said the move would aid 805,000 recipients. It would also provide some relief to their estimated 421,000 dependants.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at October 27, 2003 08:11 AM