Early Christmas Cheers? Bah

Starting Yuletide celebration before Halloween is batty.

In a holiday music video, Justin Bieber croons the song "Mistletoe" under a night snowfall. The snowflakes settle everywhere, but they bypass his perfectly styled hair. He sings about how Christmas is the most beautiful time of year. "Mistletoe" was released two weeks before Halloween.

Really, Justin? I blame you for . You had to go and rile the weather gods with your greedy jump on the commercialization of Christmas and your snow-repellent hair.

Bieber was riding the wave of a trend taking over our country: cashing in on Christmas before the trees have barely had time to change color and drop their leaves.

In the weeks leading up to Halloween, CVS shelved the ribbon candy and Christmas gift tags an aisle away from candy corn and vampire fangs. Since when did the fake blood and gore of Halloween bleed into the cherry red of Santa's suit? As soon as the Halloween costumes went to clearance, Merry Brite lights and Peanuts ornaments dominated the shelf space formerly occupied by spooky stuff.

As if four weeks of bizarre Old Navy holiday commercials shown between Thanksgiving and Christmas wasn’t enough to drive us loony tunes, we get to watch Christmas commercials before Veterans Day. Already we are bombarded by commercials of the lady in pink and her T-Mobile elves with their Pepto-Bismol colored goatees hawking smart phones to the tune of "walking in a 4G wonderland." Ad nauseam we'll watch images of a wife hugging her husband on Christmas morning because he went to Jared.  

I plan to record the next two months of the shows I regularly watch. Then I can fast forward through the commercials whose Yuletide jingles invade my thoughts, luring me to hum their lyrics against my own free will. Damn those Gap commercials with their catchy pop songs and wholesome actors exchanging holiday presents while I slip into my Turkey day nap.

To those who revel in all things Christmas all year long, I apologize if I sound like the Grinch incarnate. Coming from a nice Jewish girl who doesn't celebrate Christmas, my observations about the over-commercialization of Christmas may not have a reindeer's leg to stand on, but there are those in the mainstream who agree with me. Consumerist.com began promoting a campaign this year to slap the hands of retailers who set up holiday décor too early.   

The website encourages their readers to take pictures of seasonally inappropriate Christmas decorations in stores. Placing a "Christmas Creep" cutout character in the picture, the readers take photos of the offending displays and post them online. One reader, caught a hobby store green handed; they were selling Christmas wreaths in June!

Where does all the early Xmas anticipation leave Thanksgiving, my personal favorite holiday of the season? Is Thanksgiving destined to become an appetizer to the real deal meal? Will the flashier, less politically correct Saint Nick, overshadow his humble all-American cousin, Tom Turkey?

One funny YouTube parody of Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe" offers a definitive "No!" In the video, a cutout of Justin Bieber is suspended over a roaring fire, ready for roasting. The vocalist sings, "I like presents and decorating trees, but can I get a month to choke down some turkey, without hearing tunes like Mistletoe? Cause it’s too damn early for Christmas songs."

Diane Patenaude November 16, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I gotta tell ya, I'm basically a pagan (non-denominational, worships nature) and as a musician, I think Christmas music is some of the most beautiful and because the season is so short, I don't mind hearing Christmas music early. Just my 2 cents.
Suzette Standring November 16, 2011 at 10:03 PM
I was in Scottsdale last week and Christmas music was blaring full force. The way-out-season caroling is not uplifting. It's depressing. Buy, Buy, Buy is now the message behind O Holy Night.
Cindy November 16, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Ha, Elissa, another fine column that is right on. I so resent being bombarded with that Christmas music so early, as you point out, from October until December 25th. Then on December 25th, the day after Christmas commercials begin. I have tweeted your article to my followers and posted it on FB. I loved it. Thanks for your clever and true observations.
Elissa C. Rosenthal November 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Diane, your 2 cents is worth millions to me. I appreciate where you are coming from as a musician. Guess there isn't any Halloween music that is humable. Are there even any Thanksgiving songs? Some balance at this time of year would be nice...


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