early

How early should Christmas start?

A white Christmas tree with coloured baubles

A pretty Christmas tree display in a shop (taken during November!)

It’s now December and a lot more Christmas is around us.

For example, as of yesterday classrooms at our local school are decorated with tinsel and trees and Christmas parties are in full swing.

Obviously though, Christmas items have been on sale for a while now, along with decorated shops and Christmas centric advertising campaigns. And some will say it all started too early.

I’m ok with Christmas things around in October (on a small scale) and November, although I do find hot cross buns on sale in December a bit much in preparation for Easter!

Has Christmas got earlier?

But did you know that Christmas promotions stated in early spring (that is, during September) back in 1912 and even in August 1914? And complaints about Christmas starting ‘too early’ and ‘earlier every year’ were made in 1954 Britain and 1968 USA. So it’s not really a recent thing that Christmas is getting so early!

Ads for Christmas were published in November 1885, and retailers started with Christmas ‘events’ as early as November in 1888 and 1893.

 

Why have Christmas so early?

Well, it obviously works for retailers to promote Christmas earlier, or they’d have stopped it long ago.

Earlier promotion and reminders of Christmas encourages some people to shop earlier which means

  • less fluster and rush later on for those people
  • being able to spread the expenses of Christmas over a longer period
  • having more time to think of specifics gifts and finding it
  • spreading out the number of shoppers which is good for retailers as there are fewer crowds, less staff needs, reduced risks of stock run outs, and income is more spread out

I found it fascinating to learn that an American social reformer by the name of Florence Kelley strongly supported early Christmas shopping promotions to stop “the inhumane nature of the eleventh hour rush”. She felt that the shopping frenzy in December was “a bitter inversion of the order of holiday cheer”, and I must say I agree! From her essay in 1903, a huge campaign was waged to bring shopping forward as part of Kelley’s fight against child labour and abuse of overtime.

12 month calendar

When should Christmas displays start?

Some people like Christmas advertising to start well before December as it

  • inspires them to start Christmas shopping (to reduce the last minute stress and financial burden)
  • makes them feel good and builds the Christmas spirit
  • can give some good ideas, with time to implement them
  • is a reminder of better weather and holidays ahead.

So how do you feel about Christmas being presented to us from September? Would you prefer it started in November or December?

Do you know what I’m getting…

I have heard this question a lot recently.

My son keeps asking “Do you know what I’m getting {insert various names} for Christmas?”

I think it is lovely that a six year old is so excited about giving gifts to the people he loves.

Boy in a Snat hat giving a Christmas gift

Seeing children happy to give a gift with love is a beautiful sight

And he is trying to be selfless in the process – some the gifts are perhaps a bit more of what he is interested in than the recipient (like a Lego set for his grandfather!) but he is thinking about what they may like which is a great lesson for him.

At six, my son doesn’t truly comprehend how long it is until Christmas so his perspective is different. Of course, his idea of suitable budgets for presents is pretty limited, too!

In the adult world…

Some people are well into organising their Christmas gifts and others are horrified at the idea of preparing this early (I have a few relatives who will start on about the 20th or 22nd of December!)

But I am enjoying the fact that as I type this, my son and his friend are singing (made up) Christmas songs and playing  time at the emergency centre with my daughter. They are happy and excited even if there are still 43 days to go!

Have you started thinking about what gifts to give people? Have you started getting those gifts?

I had a chance to go shopping without children last week so that’s when I started Christmas shopping. It does feel good to have crossed a few names of the list!

Christmas photos early

How can you prepare Christmas photos in advance to use in cards and thigns they are sent out late November/early December? I really don’t want to set up a tree just yet at home, and think the kids could get confused if I did, but I do want some Christmas photos but with overseas relatives I need to send everything early.

How do other people get around this???

Christmas needlework

There is nothing more loving and special as a gift than something hand made specifically for the recipient. Of course, if they are skilled crafters, the gift is truly valuable, lol!

If you are anything like me, there is no way you could sit down in December and start making some lovely gifts for people – who has that much time in December?

So this year I figure I might get started early by starting some craft projects now when I am relaxed (holidays are wonderful things!) I found a few needlework projects relating to Christmas but then I figured it didn’t have to have a Christmas theme to be a Christmas present, lol, so I’m going to ‘catch a falling star’ instead.

And I’m also looking for inspiration for a scrapbooking page that I may create as a hanging picture for my parents and in laws. Figure its a unique gift for people who just buy anything they want or need during the year!

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