Christmas… in November

So I’ve been out recently and everywhere I see focuses on Christmas, even though surprise surprise, it’s still November. Admittedly it’s less of a problem now as it’s three days until December (and then a further 24 until Christmas and Doctor Who, then a further week until New Year’s Day, Sherlock and hopefully a year not full of doom and gloom). But last week, in the middle of November, I saw Christmas decorations, Christmas lights and people putting up a Christmas tree. Why?

Now I get it from a commercial standpoint. Christmas is a huge event, although arguably over marketed, and unlike Halloween actually does deserve an entire month’s worth of buildup. The big businesses need a way to get Christmas merchandise quickly and it’s perfectly within reason to start Christmas shopping in November- in fact it’s probably better. But do we really need Christmas carols and fake snow and snowmen in the middle of November? Not really, in my opinion. The whole second half of December is very special in the lead up to Christmas Day. The whole atmosphere is very warm (metaphorically, not literally) and feels very unique in a way I can’t describe. If the whole atmosphere of Christmas is stretched through from November, then the feeling is ruined when Christmas approaches, which is bad.

It’s arguably the same with Halloween, although the Christmas situation is a lot better. From October 1st, everyone goes “Oh look, better get your favourite horror movies out!”. Even if I did like Halloween, I’d want to wait until the actual day to watch any horror movies (horror is incidentally probably my least favourite genre of film). With Christmas, Advent means there is a reason to count down the days until Christmas. At least there’s a reason. Even so, could we seriously not wait until December 1st to do a Santa’s Grotto and not on the 19th of November, as I saw in Eastleigh?

So, what will I be doing during the actual lead up to Christmas in December? Well, I’ll be doing the Nightmare Before Christmas, because I didn’t get the chance to watch it during Halloween, several Doctor Who Christmas Specials (I’m partial to The Christmas Invasion, A Christmas Carol, The Snowmen and The Husbands of River Song) and the hilarious Blackadder Christmas Special.


6 thoughts on “Christmas… in November

  1. I agree with your comment about the disadvantage of stretching out Christmas for too long. I also think “It’s all very well getting in the Christmas spirit, but I have got to go to work up until 232 December so need to concentrate on that.

    One reason for the ever-early appearance of Christmas items in the shops is that people will only buy their Christmas goods once, so each shop wants to make sure they buy them from them. To steal a march on its rival, Shop A stocks for Christmas one day earlier. The following year, Shop B goes one day earlier and the year after Shop A goes one day earlier still. And so on – eventually we get Christmas cards on sale in August, when really the stores need to call a truce and say “this is silly; let’s go back to selling in December only, by selling in August we are taking out stock that people might actually want to buy then, such as ice cream and sun hats”. If this sounds like the US and USSR arms race of the cold war, it’s because it is.

    1. Last week I went to the museum to try to look at a local history display, but saw a crowd – the whole museum’s display area was turned into a Santa’s Grotto – and lots of parents were queuing with their children to see the Santa. It was the 3rd weekend of November.

    2. It’s not as bad as it used to be because August and September ‘seasonal’ offers are now concentrated on Halloween. Christmas stuff round our way doesn’t appear until November 1st – which is still a month too early!

  2. Nicely argued case. I completely agree with everything that you wrote, particularly about the horrible imported ‘occasion’ that is Halloween. For me, Christmas is not diluted by starting so early, because I simply ignore what is going on until I get the tree and decorations up about 10 days before. I know Christmas has really started when Mrs Williams and I have the now traditional argument about how big the tree is and where it should be located.

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