Bury St Edmunds student Phoebe Price bemoans the early arrival of Christmas in our shops
With Christmas quickly approaching, the Bury lights were switched on this week and shops are bursting at the seams with Christmas goodies.
The lights and the colder weather seem to point the way towards the festivities, but it seems wrong to me that so many companies were yet again trying to force-feed us Christmas joy in late September.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Christmas fanatic. I adore the festivities and the spirit of it. However, it unsettles me how a once pure, meaningful holiday has become so heavily exploited.
This year it hit me as I enjoyed a walk around town on a warm autumn day. Strolling into shops, I was bombarded by plastic Father Christmases – suffocating enough – but the other annoyance was that I couldn’t move for the crowds of brainwashed Christmas zombies. All shoving past each other, arms outstretched, mumbling excuses as to why it was acceptable to be buying a pom-pom wreath on October 1.
What I struggle to understand, and I’m sure you will too, is why does seeing Christmas products out so early infuriate me this much? I’m not religious in the slightest, so it can’t be that. I believe it is because I love Christmas too much, and to me Christmas shouldn’t be the money-grabbing holiday it is.
Society today is undeniably a consumer culture. Most people lucky enough to have any, love to spend money. So, it’s obvious why Christmas sells well. We love Christmas; we love to buy things. We demand. Shops supply. Surely that’s the bottom of it?
On the other hand, if the Christmas products were not in the shops in the first place, we simply wouldn’t buy them. It’s only because they are thrown our way so early that we enter such a purchasing frenzy. Imagine a world where Christmas wasn’t advertised until December 1. Scary, right? Well, you wouldn’t go online and search for a plastic pug wearing a pink Santa hat on October 3, would you? (Well I hope you wouldn’t.) It’s like pancake day – you don’t see people thinking about pancake ingredients on January 5.
Christmas is very limited edition. It strikes me as strange that you are asked to buy new decorations anytime from late September, and who can resist those shiny baubles sitting on the shelves? Christmas everywhere from October seems almost normal. But if you still have your lights up in the third week of January, you are deemed to have a screw loose. We spend all this money on festive goods – which are on sale for a third of every year – just to pack them away in boxes for 11 months. Don’t misunderstand, I love a shiny new decoration, it’s just the sheer commercialism of the whole thing that irritates.
Despite all I have said, I know that there is nothing you or I can do. Christmas will creep earlier each year, whether we want it to or not.