We are a few weeks away from December. Now is the time to expect to see Christmas adverts on TV, and Christmas decorations on the shelves. However, the reality is that we start to see Christmas a lot earlier than November! Christmas-related wares pop up earlier and earlier, with some shops displaying their festive stock in September.
On one level, I do understand it. The need to prepare stuff in advance (such as presents, the food etc) is a pressure we all feel. It’s the appearance of so much material-driven Christmas paraphernalia that drives this meerkat absolutely crazy. I do not want to see Christmas decorations on sale in September! I loathe seeing Christmas adverts on TV in October. Christmas is supposed to be a magical time of year, yet it has become stretched, and it has become so utterly commercialised that it can feel like a burden.
The strain is greater on families with young children, who are the chief target of so many adverts. Most kids love Christmas, they get very excited by the prospect of Santa’s visit, and they can wind up becoming burnt out by it all (their parents certainly can!). It becomes inescapable, as is the pressure to deliver a brilliant, dazzling Christmas in all aspects. The presents, the food, the decorations, the whole atmosphere is thrust at us, with tremendous expectations for something wonderful. There is a lot of time to get people what they want, but there is also so much time for people to change their minds, because now, people are thinking about Christmas, and what to do at Christmas, from September onwards.
It’s too much. There’s too much seasonal encroachment. You cannot escape it. Whereas once, Halloween acted as a sort of shield, no more can it defend against Christmas’s inexorable march. Mariah Carey is waiting to unleash ‘All I want for Christmas’ at the earliest possible opportunity. Nothing can stop it. Nothing.