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Battling the Misguided War on Christmas Creep

One of the modern trends of Christmas is the complaint against it: some people either just cannot stand Christmas altogether or simply do not like to see it too early. The media calls it “Christmas Creep”, an annual gripe about Christmas mostly showing up too early in stores or too soon on radio or television stations.

The complaints can be bitter. From Orange County someone going by the name of Frumpy Mom rails against Christmas too soon.

Some complaints about it give you pause. In Canada a movement continues to encourage refraining from the decorating and commercialization of Christmas until after Remembrance Day, fearing that the nation’s veterans are getting overlooked because of the early Christmas. They have a good point.

Over in the UK the debate has taken to “science” where they predict the madness of Christmas is headed for the summer months by the end of this century. (News flash: Christmas in July is already a thing and has been for over 100 years. The media hasn’t discovered it yet).

In Chicago a journalist declares war on Christmas in a funny commentary about how absurd it is to think there is an actual war on Christmas — and that includes snark like this:

As soon as the last trick-or-treater walked away on Halloween — after I confiscated his candy and shamed him for participating in a pagan ritual — I hauled out the Christmas decorations and commenced Operation Yuletide Bunker. The entire Huppke compound had to be transformed into an impenetrable “Christmas safe zone,” complete with tinsel mines surrounding the perimeter, peppermint trenches and a roof-mounted garland cannon.

Despite abundant evidence that “Christmas creep” has been a thing in America since before Christmas ever became a national holiday the media outcry over the mere presence of Christmas at certain times of the year is the only thing that seems to really be increasing.

As a year round Christmas venue we understand better than anyone the seasonality of Christmas. The crowds of visitors to our little website here is quite impressive come November and December. Not so much in May or June.

And we understand that Christmas is may be not for everyone. For some, the season reminds them of sadness or difficult circumstances of their past.

But we think a few words of sincere sanity should be said about this Christmas creep thing.

First of all, a display of merchandise in a store or a commercial or even a song on broadcast media does not Christmas make.

We believe strongly that the lessons of Dr. Seuss — who teaches us that Christmas doesn’t come from a store — are just as valid as the lessons Dickens taught through the transformed Scrooge, who pledged to keep Christmas in his heart everyday. THAT is Christmas — not all this other stuff they are complaining about.

Really, Christmas creep is the byproduct of free market economics and free speech. The dynamics of those realities have long tempered our acceptance of Christmas.

Consider the Christmas-crazy decade of the 1940s. A pre-war frustrated President Franklin Roosevelt actually moved the date of Thanksgiving two seasons in a row in order expand the shopping season in hopes of boosting the struggling economy. By today’s media standards that would make Roosevelt President Christmas Creep.

America didn’t respond. They didn’t shop and Roosevelt’s shifting dates of Thanksgiving was eventually locked down by Congress.

But then December 7th, 1941 happened and everything about Christmas in America changed.

A vast majority of people, affected by the war, were taken from “the Christmas I used to know”. The love and the passion for Christmas exploded in American culture and fueled a golden era from 1945 to 1955 that created everything from White Christmas to Let It Snow as iconic parts of Christmas. The post war years were a time of Christmas-love not yet matched in American history.

Christmas creep is NOT Christmas-love. We would agree with those who rail against it that it is really reflective of Christmas greed, more than anything else.

But Christmas creep is not a menace, as so many journalists would lead us to believe. Nobody is getting hurt by seeing Christmas too soon, regardless of the misguided form it comes in.

Merchants and radio stations do what they do for one simple reason: customers. It sells.

People buy Christmas — indeed, some even come to a Christmas website year round — for something other than Christmas too soon.

That is what gets lost in all these bitter arguments. It should not be Christmas that falls from their lips when they complain of the creep. It could be greed. It could be commercialism. It could be a billion other things.

The affect all this complaining has is that people who love Christmas are becoming afraid to show that. They don’t want to say anything because they get shouted at. Even my teenage daughters in high school — where the divide between pro-Christmas and anti-Christmas is just as strong as the rest of society — say it is becoming so sharply divided that they cannot really express their love of Christmas without negative consequence (which in the world of teenage girls is brutal).

Is that necessary? Where is the tolerance? Why is is politically correct to guard against offense of one group — but not another?

The answer to these things is really quite simple: just say Merry Christmas and move on. Christmas in the end will come and it will go. It was always be a source of bitterness for some people.

And it really is their problem.

Father of 7, Grandfather of 7, husband of 1. Freelance writer, Major League baseball geek, aspiring Family Historian.
And by the way, despite the fact that big box stores and malls are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day here in Massachusetts, I find a growing number of fast food restaurants, gas stations and pharmacies are opening on both of these days. In my neighborhood of East Milton, both Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are open on both days and do a bang up business. Hey, everyone needs their coffee even on those 2 days. And of course, the Chinese restaurants, movie theaters and casinos are open, too.

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