Season Creep and Materialism

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I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice and get slightly annoyed by what I’ve recently heard referred to as, “Season Creep,” but not everyone has a blog to rant about it, so I’ll do the honours. I noticed several years ago that the Christmas catalogue was starting to come out earlier and earlier. Now, on a website called “Young and Thrifty” you wouldn’t think you’d read many stories that start with, “When I was a kid,” but there is definitely a generation gap that opened up in the few short years since I left the teenage world behind. Back in my day, we looked forward to the catalogue coming right around Halloween, and started really looking after Thanksgiving. Even that seems a little bit early when you think about the big picture of things. Today, I’m seeing catalogues and ads touting early Christmas sales in August!

Fun In the Sun With Santa

I guess you have to start Christmas sales in August when your back to school ads went up in June. I’m sure many of you out there that get 4-6 weeks vacation for the year don’t have much sympathy for me, but I can tell you that it is pretty disheartening to see pencils and looseleaf being advertised behind headlines like, “Make This Year THE Year” and other similar feel good-isms BEFORE you are even out of school for the summer! When I go to the mail in July I have to avoid flyers like the plague lest they remind me to, “Hurry up and stock up now, school is just around the corner!!” Yay… can’t wait. Thanks Wal-Mart.

Thanksgiving Blowout or Pre-Christmas Clearout?

Season creepI’m pretty certain at this point one sale just blends into the next. November first is now the common standard for Christmas stuff to go up. I mean, I’m all for celebrating a dude’s birthday and the winter solstice and all, but man, two month’s worth? Does anyone else realize that we’re spending almost 1/6th of the year celebrating the year-end holidays? Am I weird for finding this off-putting? Car dealerships just go from one seasonal promotion to another now, and god forbid if there is ever a couple months of grey area between the summer savings event and the Christmas selloff we can always throw in a scary low prices week, or a basic “employee” pricing (sorry GM, your employees are buying Hondas, Toyotas, and Hyundais and parking them up the street, so employee pricing isn’t all that tempting).

Mad Men Rule The World

Hey I love shameless advertising and materialism as much as the next guy with a big screen TV, but when you see kids writing letters to Santa before labour day long weekend it’s time to take a look in the mirror. Don Draper is my boy and all, but even he couldn’t abide by our current consumption of materialism. The old cliché of stopping to smell the roses probably wasn’t intended to save you money, but I think that if more people actually stopped to ask if they needed to spend thousands of dollars on each other at Christmas they might happier, and maybe even have something in their retirement account. If we actually considered what brought real joy to our life we probably wouldn’t bother to look at all the posters and ads touting the next big thing. By definition there will always be another “next big thing” right? It’s too bad that we’ve copywritten common sense into oblivion. Not only do we want immediate gratification right now, but we want tomorrow’s gratification as well, and maybe Christmas gratification in August as well! Is it any mystery why the average Canuck is 150% in debt with the average Yankee not far behind (not referring the baseball team obviously… although they do sort of fit in with the whole idea of immediate gratification).

The only good part about the whole thing is that now I have an excuse to leave my Christmas lights up all year round. Hey, it’s never too early to get in the spirit right?

13 Comments

  1. Lance @ Money Life and More on September 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Haha Christmas lights… ugh that’ll be fun to put up again. I’ve already seen Halloween stuff in late August in Disney World and at Wal-Mart… it is absolutely insane!



  2. Dotty on September 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    The Costco in my hometown already has two aisles decorated for Christmas, complete with wrapping paper, lights, trees…. and chocolate?! When is that chocolate made??

    I was appalled.



  3. Teacher Man on September 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    That is both disgusting and abhorrent all at once. I’m sorry but Christmas has totally leap-frogged Thanksgiving, but it shouldn’t take Halloween out too!



  4. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter on September 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I hate commercialism. It has gone to far these days. Do people not have lives outside of shopping these days? I swear, I am much more preoccupied with the summer weather and doing other stuff that taking time to notice holiday displays is not my first priority. Think it is sad that holidays are now about stuff instead of what matters- spending time with family.



  5. Johnny@Financial Freedom on September 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Yeah, Thanksgiving has pretty much been washed away because it’s not as sexy and product driven as Halloween and Christmas. Very frustrating because I love Thanksgiving. Great article!



  6. Teacher Man on September 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Johnny!



  7. Teacher Man on September 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Completely agree Miss T!



  8. kc on September 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    There is a simple reason that dec 25 is being pushed further and further every year, people today are impatient and stores are broke. it is all about getting you brainwashed into thinking that if you don’t buy into the notion that you can’t love someone without spending billions on them then you are a loser. keep hammering away till people bend and crumple like a cheap suit.

    Last year went into a gas station that I was a regular at, (been going there for years, and knew all the steady employees). It was 1 week before halloween last year and with the ghosts and spooks they had set up a fake santa. I was extremely disgusted and let them all know it very verbally. (and when i left i said i wouldn’t return) guess what. i have entered the store once in the past year because i needed fuel real bad. the manager was surprised to see me and asked where i have been. i told him i was not going to be back again and said that it was a boycott from the santa crap of last year. he hung his head and knew i was serious.

    brainwashed people will not stand up for what they believe in and will continue to go along with what they know is not justified, however, they are to afraid to make waves.

    speak out and be heard then follow up with actions.

    good post b.t.w.

    cheers



  9. Teacher Man on September 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    That is an intense stand to make kc. Good on you for following your convictions and thanks for commenting.



  10. Virginia on September 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I bought some Halloween decorations last weekend and my husband was so annoyed at me.

    “You’re giving in! This is why they put things out so early. People like you buy them.”

    He may be right but I don’t own any Halloween decorations because I have tried to get them in early October for the last two years and almost everything is gone by then. If you can’t beat em, join em.



  11. Teacher Man on September 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Ok Halloween 6-7 weeks away is sort of my borderline. I won’t condemn you out of hand;) Christmas stuff in August is another ball game entirely! Thanks for commenting Virginia!



  12. Joseph Archibald on September 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Hey TM, I was at the local shopping mall the other week (remember, this is the Philippines I’m talking about here) – that was about 2 weeks ago now, so freshly into the beginning of September. As I was leaving the mall, one of the security guards at the front entrance said “happy Christmas, sir”. I looked around to see if he was joking, but no – he was deadly serious!

    I considered my retort – “ba humbug, young man!!” but decided against it because I knew for a fact he’d have no idea…

    Joseph



  13. Teacher Man on September 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Ha! Quick thinking on that response Joe.



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