On the second last day of August I was at the shops buying a present for my dad for Father’s Day. In Australia we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September so I had left it a little bit late, but I knew exactly what I wanted to get him so I was just focused on getting to the menswear department and grabbing the gift.
I was in one of the big department stores here in Perth called David Jones, and as I hopped off the escalator on the second floor, I came to a screeching halt because of what I saw.
I was in shock, it couldn’t be, SERIOUSLY!?!?!
I literally stood there for minutes staring at the woman filling the shelves with tinsel and ornaments. I was dumbfounded… and then I got angry!!
I had to have a little chat with myself so I didn’t go over and have a word with the shop assistant. I certainly wanted to voice my opinion but I also had enough wisdom to acknowledge it wasn’t her decision to put the Christmas decorations out a whole FOUR MONTHS before Christmas.
As I walked into the menswear department I was mentally writing a letter to the store manager describing my annoyance about this. It really had me fired up, and it normally takes a lot to fire me up!
Now I am sure some of you a wondering why I got so annoyed about this. Let me share with you my list of reasons:
- In our consumer-driven society, we are constantly being led, persuaded, influenced and manipulated into buying more and more and more and more and more!! I know some Western Australians would love a wintery Christmas but putting out the Christmas decorations in August is not the same as having a wintery Christmas! It just screams “Spend more money! Buy MORE! Buy NOW!”. I am sure the first sale on Christmas wares will begin in the next two weeks too, in pursuit of getting us to put our hands on our wallets.
- The world needs more presence. We are suffering so much because many of us are living in the future and because of that we are missing out on the NOW! It is very hard to be in the nowwhen the retail industry is pushing us to December 25th on the 30th of August. It’s this feeling of constantly being hurried through the year – first it’s Christmas, now it’s Easter, now it’s Christmas, now it’s Easter.
- It really pisses me off because I love Christmas and this really dilutes the specialness of it all. It’s not one special day of the year, rather it’s become six months of selling stuff to the gullible consumer – a retail extravaganza that goes on for MONTHS!! Imagine if the Christmas stuff didn’t come out until mid-November? It would signify that holidays and family time are coming, it would be within a reasonable amount of time to have a countdown for the kids, and there would be an opportunity to get excited because Christmas is just around the corner. The meaning of Christmas has become so commercialised because of this retail component.
- Some people don’t have a great time at Christmas. Someone they love may have died around that time. A friend of mine lost his mum on Christmas Day and therefore Christmas has some tough feelings attached to it for him. When he walks into the shop to buy himself something in September, he is confronted with the Christmas decorations and is transported back to that time. It is unfair that he has to be reminded of that event for SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR!!
I know other people feel similarly to me because it has been mentioned numerous times over the last few days with friends and family. So my question is what do we do about this? How do we get the retailers to respect the event and not flog us cheap Chinese crap (aka Christmas decorations) for months prior to the event?
Do we write letters?
Do we all agree to buy nothing Christmass-y until November?
Do we write to our local politician and ask for a bit of respect for the special events of the year, regardless of what they are?
I am not sure and I would love to hear anyone’s opinion on this one. It really has me stumped!
I feel better now that I have that off my chest. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day J