It’s beginning to look a NOT like Christmas

Flash back to mid-October (yes, October), Canadians think THANKSGIVING, when the girls and I went out for breakfast and coffee and giggles to celebrate that first weekend home from university. I had told Mackenzie about my shock passing through The Bay before everyone arrived home. Apparently The Bay was extraordinarily gung-ho about setting up their annual “Christmas Street” display… in October… before Canadian Thanksgiving. Of course nobody believed me, I mean, it’s ridiculous. We were all still in fall jackets, those of us who needed them, and we had just burst out our fabulous collection of fall and winter boots to parade in and adore. How could “Christmas Street” possibly be up when Halloween costumes are just going on sale?

I insisted, because a) I’m not THAT crazy, and b) I had brought my digital camera to get proof before joining the girls, alas Mackenzie and I overslept and over-prepped so that idea when out the window. So on our way from coffee Mackenzie, Nicole, Kennedy and I ventured to The Bay to see what all my fuss was about.

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That’s what all my fuss was about.

I realize that not everyone celebrates Halloween (I certainly do; it’s my favourite!) but the majority of Canadians do something for Thanksgiving. While we’re baking and cooking and fighting over that last turkey at Costco the last thing we want to think about is Christmas gifts… Because that means spending money… Money that those of us earning minimum wage need that extra month and a half to obtain in order to buy said presents (or bake said presents, in my case) for said loved ones.

But it doesn’t stop there.

During Angelica’s last night in Ottawa (which I refuse to write about right now because I refuse to deal with the fact that she’s gone; clearly I have issues) we were walking through one of the city’s malls and ran into the crew hired to set up Santa’s visiting area. The day after Remembrance Day. Again, a full month before Angelica and I usually start thinking about our annual visit to Santa – although the crew was kind enough to let us sit in the chair and get a picture (or 3) after hearing our sob story. I mean, I guess it wasn’t completely random, seeing as how the major department stores had already decorated with wreaths and lights and sale signs in festive colours… before Remembrance Day.

Again, I realize that some people don’t observe Remembrance Day (I do! I have an actual WW2 British nurses cape that I wear only on November 11th and visit our Cenotaph in the evening to lay my poppy on the tomb of the unknown soldier) as a ‘holi-day’ per say… But when businesses close until 12:00, or when everyone at least stops to take 2 minutes of silence, the last thing we want to be thinking about are Christmas presents/sales. I mean, really… on that day, it can wait.

Which brings me to Saturday’s Help Santa Toy Parade that marched along the downtown of my city. I dragged my sorry self out of bed after my roommates 25th kareoke laden bash that ended at 3:30 am to watch my Jesus-friends march in the band. After spending 2 hours surrounded by frustrated parents and crying/yelling children, I found it hard to get into the so-called Christmas spirit – even though the said frustrated parents and crying/yelling children is a part of the so-called Christmas rush that happens every year.

In that sense I can understand companies wishing to start early and friends who have started and near completed their Christmas shopping. That rush – sucks. The malls are packed and no longer the relaxing getaway that I know it to be. People are tired, hungry and generally rude. You’re hit from all directions by people with more important places to go that your presence in front of them for 2 seconds simply cannot be tolerated. The gym is packed with holiday-party attendees hoping that if they attend classes for 3 weeks that they’ll magically lose 10-20-30 pounds just in time for the office party and that dress/suit they wish to fit in. Plus the fact that it means I am in final exam mode for nursing, so I’m already stressed out of my mind. In a nutshell – that part of the season sucks hard like a Hoover.

I remember as a child being SO excited when December 1st rolled around. In grade school that meant the end of classes and simply month-long rehearsals for the annual Christmas pagent. I’m not even kidding. It meant that my extended family would be coming to visit – it meant that my house would be filled with the smell of the pine tree – it meant that I could put a present under the tree for my dad, my mom, my brother and my dog. I knew that Santa didn’t exist ever since I recognized his handwriting to be my fathers, but the spirit of family and giving was there in my heart. It also meant seeing the refreshing signs up at Nordstoms; every year they’d put up a sign stating that out of respect for American Thanksgiving, they didn’t believe it was appropriate to put up Christmas decorations until after the date had passed. They were the only department store to do it at the mall in Bethesda where I lived… and I guess that continues on until today.

Now, at 23… Well, the spirit of giving is still there. I love the hunt for the perfect present because of my thus-far successful track record. I also love the hunt for the perfect present at a bargin; case in point. Music World is closing forever (Sad I know) and it was there where I found my brother’s present – the 4 DVD set of the 20th anniversary of Shark Week, for a fraction of the price that I was going to pay by purchasing it from the internet. Instead of month long rehearsals for Christmas pagents it’s now month long gym classes for Christmas parties, except for the fact that I’m dubbed a ‘regular’ at my gym to the point that other members recognizing me outside of the gym and mistake me for an instructor. And I am still going to see Santa… just, not until December.

I don’t know. Am I being too cynical when it comes to the slowly creeping-up start date of the Christmas season? Or will that happen when Christmas in July is no longer just a catch phrase for department stores to sell off all remaining stock from last season?

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~ by Carrie on November 18, 2007.

22 Responses to “It’s beginning to look a NOT like Christmas”

  1. Lady! I’m with you on this. Two days before Halloween I was running around Wal-mart getting the final touches for my costume and all the Halloween stuff was taken down already to make ROOM FOR CHRISTMAS stuff. WTF? I lurve Christmas too, but it’s hard to get excited about one holiday when you are still getting ready to celebrate another. (And honestly, Christmas can totally wait on November 11th- that’s the ONE day of the year I think waiting and remembering should be mandatory). I could rant about this forever, but you’ve covered all my main points. I feel good knowing that I’m on the same page as someone else regarding this issue. It’s okay to love Christmas, but wishing it started later doesn’t make you or me a Scrooge.

  2. @ brandy ~ HI fellow late-night blogger!!! I KNOW: it was the same at Loblaws here. I was like, wtf dude… Halloween isn’t even HERE. I know we live in a fast paced society but this is ridiculous. I don’t mind waiting until December 1st to get all excited for Christmas/holi-day season… and when it’s being shoved in my face a full month and a half before? I don’t think we’re out of line to be a bit cranky about it. HA… cranky.

  3. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptIt’s beginning to look a NOT like Christmas November 18, 2007 • 2 Comments Flash back to mid-October (yes, October), Canadians think THANKSGIVING, when the girls and I went out for breakfast and coffee and giggles to celebrate that first weekend home from university. I had told Mackenzie about my shock passing through The Bay before everyone arrived home. Apparently The Bay was extraordinarily gung-ho about setting up their annual “Christmas Street” display… in October… before Canadian Thank […]

  4. […] petersonsadmin wrote an interesting post today on Itâs beginning to look a NOT like ChristmasHere’s a quick excerptIt’s beginning to look a NOT like Christmas November 18, 2007 • 2 Comments Flash back to mid-October (yes, October), Canadians think THANKSGIVING, when the girls and I went out for breakfast and coffee and giggles to celebrate that first weekend home from university. I had told Mackenzie about my shock passing through The Bay before everyone arrived home. Apparently The Bay was extraordinarily gung-ho about setting up their annual “Christmas Street” display… in October… before Canadian Thank […]

  5. I’m so with you on this, I was in one mall in late September and the Christmas decorations were up right along with the Halloween decorations. Jack-o-lanterns and wreathes…it was all very odd. My local Loblaws had eggnogg out November 1. It just makes me unpleasant quite frankly to be listening to “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” before December even rolls around. *sigh*
    I’m sorry your friend is leaving Ottawa, I’d be all about pretending she wasn’t too.

  6. @ Ruby ~ late September?? Seriously? Wow… that’s intense. And Loblaws having eggnog in November? Sigh: I thought it was weird as well when Second Cup broke out it’s Christmas drink list. Nothing against Candy Cane hot chocolate/lattes, but it’s still too damn early!

  7. You are so not being cynical – you are being a realist – it absolutely sucks that all the Christmas decorations go up three months in advance and that it’s no longer relaxing to go to the mall and hunt for that perfect present – I have relegated myself to shop online for much of my things – I had similar exoeriences as you as a child and it seems so vastly different now..

  8. @ Princess Extraoridinaire ~ Ok… glad to read that so many people are on board with me/were on board before I wrote this. It really does suck – as I sip my Starbucks out of a Christmas laden cup because they’re already out with them along with the Christmas blend… sigh.

  9. I love the holidays and enjoy hunting for the perfect gifts – but like everyone… it is not fun when it feels like the holidays are being jammed down your throat. There is no escaping them. I would like to have that break between Halloween and the 1st of December to enjoy November and all its moments!

  10. @ Exception ~ I completely agree; although I am now sporting red and green donuts on my braces. If you can’t beat ’em, mock ’em!

  11. You’re a sweetheart with a child still in your heart. You’re not cynical … it is absolutely true … everything you said. It has become so commercial that it is easier to find a black button in the bottom of a coal mine than it is to find the unadulterated spirit of Christmas. In a way we luck out a little bit more than you did … while some stores have had Christmas up for over a month here as well, the major mall in town (also the only mall in town) only breaks out the holdiay decorstions the weekend of the Santa Claus parade … which was this past weekend. Again we luck out here on that issue as well because it is held at night which give it a much nicer atmosphere.

  12. @ George ~ Aw… thank you George! I try to keep the winter holiday spirit… you know, when December rolls around. Although I don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas, I know my family does and they don’t start until December. Sigh.

  13. the other day I was driving , turned on the radio and there was christmas music playing ,a station of 24 hrs of x mas music started Nov 18th, I was confused at first but then turned up the volume and went with it! – xmas music makes me happy 100% of the time. don’t fight it girl:)

  14. @ B ~ I got Christmas colours on my braces on Monday! At least that way for Corporate’s Xmas party I can stand out…

  15. Seriously, I hate christmas shopping. I love giving presents, but the shopping is horrendous. People really try to kill each other – it’s vicious!

  16. I liked the Christmas ads before Halloween. The commercialization of Christmas? Priceless.

  17. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptIt’s beginning to look a NOT like Christmas November 18, 2007 • 8 Comments Flash back to mid-October (yes, October), Canadians think THANKSGIVING, when the girls and I went out for breakfast and coffee and giggles to celebrate that first weekend home from university. I had told Mackenzie about my shock passing through The Bay before everyone arrived home. Apparently The Bay was extraordinarily gung-ho about setting up their annual “Christmas Street” display… in October… before Canadian Thank […]

  18. So I was reading somewhere that you joined JG? If that’s you in the photograph above, I’d have to say you should join a mental hopsital.

    Your crazy for joining JG, you look great.

  19. @ Miriam D ~ I love gift giving too! I just hate the crowds and the general anxiety that is palpable in all malls that you go in to!

    @ Thomas ~ Hey! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. @ K ~ JG? What’s JG? And yes that is me in the photograph… and I’ve accepted the fact that I’m kinda crazy. It’s fun in here!

  21. o.0 Typo. JC – Jenny Craig Don’t go thinking your the only one who is crazy, there are plenty of us out there 😉

  22. @ K ~ AAH. I get it now. And no worries; I know I’m not the only one who is crazy out there. How else would I explain why I have lots of friends?!

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