by Rachel Garvey
Santa Claus, in his gigantic red coat and black boots, with a jolly smile plastered on his chubby face, Christmas baubles encased in their plastic dwelling, just waiting to break free and roll all over the place when they are finally opened, tinsel hanging in different coloured strands of gold, green and red and gingerbread men waving at you from their little gingerbread houses. You continue to stare at them all for a full fifteen minutes, before a store employee comes up behind you, gently taps you on the shoulder and asks, “Excuse me Miss, is everything okay?”. No, everything is most certainly not okay! Your inner conscience is begging you to speak the silent thoughts that spin uncontrollably through your head, but you know that your outburst in front of the employee would not only turn a lot of heads, but could result in your dignity being lost. Your inner conscience is screaming, “Why? What is this? Why are these ghastly decorations here? Where are the pumpkins and the skeletons and the black cats with their evil eyes?! This is scandalous! Christmas decorations in September?”. Are you one of those people who feel conflicted as to how to feel about this or are you the type of person to become excited over seeing Christmas decorations in September?
As an October baby, I love celebrating Halloween. Of course, I adore Christmas too, I become equally excited over both holidays, but one comes before the other. It’s not fair to mingle them together, it’s a date that is sure to end up going down a two-way street. One simply cannot have Christmas décor next to Halloween décor, it’s not right. The calendar clearly indicates that Halloween is due to arrive on October 31st, before the Christmas holidays in December. October and December are two completely different months, with two completely different reasons to celebrate. How would we all feel if Halloween ended and Christmas décor hit the stores all over Ireland, but, ironically, some of the Halloween stock that didn’t sell from September to October is being sold at a reduced cost, would we feel annoyed? Of course we would, because Halloween is over and Christmas season would be slowly creeping in. We don’t appreciate seeing Halloween stock next to Christmas stock. However, why do we make an exception for Christmas stock coming in early, even as early as September? It’s completely understandable that there are a lot of people out there who prefer to purchase Christmas stock early, because it’s at a reasonable price, before prices go up in the months of November and December.
Evil pumpkins and ghosts clearly don’t belong next to jolly-looking snowmen and elves holding their tiny little hammers while they make the toys for children all around the world. It’s a combination that will never mix well. To repeat, it’s a date that would go down a two-way street. Even in my own workplace, our back wall already is stocked with advent calendars and Christmas sweets, and part of me is thinking how scandalous it all is. However, we do need to take into account that many businesses make a profit from selling Christmas stock early, by selling them at a good price, or the promotional deals of “Buy 1 Get 1 Free”. I may not agree with Christmas décor being displayed in the month of September, but I do understand that stocking up on sweets and biscuits and small decorations while they aren’t at top price is very worthwhile and can create a sense of good organization. Stocking up now means you don’t have to worry about it later, while you’re in the middle of your Christmas shopping and both of your hands are red raw from carrying so many paper bags that are on the verge of breaking. However, the power isn’t in our hands to determine when Christmas stock is allowed to hit the shelves, the power is only in our hands to determine whether we give in to our guilty pleasures and purchase the stock. The power is also in our hands to move all that Christmas stock to the back of the shelf and replace it with Halloween stock from the shelves nearby, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that – the end result is not a good one. Trust me.