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The Christmas creep

Don’t cry. Christmas in November is wonderful. (Bryn Karcha photo)
Don’t cry. Christmas in November is wonderful. (Bryn Karcha photo)

November is the best month of the year. I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary. The leaves have finally changed colour in Halifax, I can wear a coat without worrying whether I’ll sweat to death from the oscillating weather, and—most importantly—it’s holiday time.

“But most holidays are in December!” you cry. I hear you, I do. I’ve been hearing about the ‘Christmas creep’ for weeks. I smile politely while my friends shake their fists at the wreaths on Barrington Street. I make eye contact with the only  other quiet person in the  gaggle of grinches, and with a nod we agree.

Christmas in November is wonderful.

The ‘Christmas creep’ is not new. It seems as though every newspaper and Twitter personality is announcing our oncoming doom via sparkly ornaments this year. But as a former high school marching band member, I can tell you that eight years ago I was playing in Santa Claus parades the first weekend of November. Like it or not, the Christmas spirit has been popping up immediately after Halloween for at least a decade. Stop treating it as though it’s news. Accept the extra month of sparkle and joy. You’ll be happier for it.

Yes, there is a culture of commercialism around Christmas, and for those who don’t celebrate the holiday that can be a bit much. But guess what? We’re a capitalist country. It’s there all year round. But somehow, when the window displays change from plaid and leafy to glitter and stars, we get offended. I respect those who want to honour the religious history of the holiday, but I also think it’s possible to do so while acknowledging that others won’t. Don’t want to support stores that exploit the green and red to make money, the bastards? Don’t shop there. DIY or PayPal it. Moving on.

I’ll admit that when I went to Mic Mac Mall in early November I came home with a raging headache from the pounding beats of the “Christmas music”. Someone ought to tell Ardene’s that shoppers are there to buy cheap leggings, not to dance to bad Mariah Carey songs. But I was bringing it on myself for entering Ardene’s in the first place. The stores that play bad Christmas music will play bad music all year long. There are just more sleigh bells involved in November.

A disclaimer: I understand the celebration of holiday spirit before Remembrance Day comes across as disrespectful to a lot of people. Nov. 11 is extremely meaningful for me—it holds an importance that I carry beyond the cenotaph. I just don’t think the two sentiments are mutually exclusive. The papers that publish ‘Christmas creep’ opinions also report on high Remembrance Day ceremony attendance and poppy donations in the same issue. The Grand Parade was full to bursting that Sunday morning. Respect is not on the decline, regardless of how many garlands grace the storefronts of Spring Garden Road.

So all you naysayers, I’m with you on the bad music and the need for respect. But here’s where I think we differ: if you don’t like it, ignore it. It’s a strategy I adopted during my perpetually loveless high school Februaries (see “marching band,” above), and it’s a strategy you can rock, too. In the meantime, leave the joy and festivity to those of us who have already broken out the eggnog.

 

Torey Ellis
Torey Ellis
Torey was the Copy Editor of the Gazette for Volume 145 and Assistant News Editor for Volume 144.
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