Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Christmas comes but once a year

by : 
IainG

“Christmas comes but once a year”, they say.  It seems more often than that, mind you, with Christmas decorations appearing in shops at least a couple months before the holiday season begins.

There’s a garden centre near where I lived as a child.  It wasn’t very exciting – particularly when you’re eight years old and more interested in more immediate thrills than watching a plant slowly grow and flower over several months.   The garden centre did have one thing going for it, however, and that was its Christmas displays.

Every year, half of this shop would be decked out with flashing fairy lights, twinkling tinsel and singing Santa toys; Christmas songs filled the air as children looked on with awe and wonder. 

The displays were eye-popping, and even adults loved them.  What adults did not like, though, was just how early the decorations appeared for sale in the shop.  As early as August the first signs of the Christmas products would appear on the shelves and, by mid-September, enthusiastic children would be so excited as they thought Christmas was only a few days away.  Exasperated parents desperately tried to explain that Christmas Day was still several months away.

I cannot say that I like seeing the Christmas decorations out so early but it is difficult to blame shops for displaying Christmas stock as early as possible.  They do have to make a profit, in order to keep the business going and to provide people with jobs but, at the same, I always wonder how many people actually buy Christmas decorations in the middle of September.  I suppose somebody must, or they wouldn’t put them on sale.

As I say, I cannot blame the shops but, some ten days ago, I noticed that one of my neighbours, here in Colombia, has Christmas lights in the window.  The next day I looked a little more carefully, only to realise that a fully-decorated tree stands behind that window. By the middle of November, some fifteen houses in my street were fully decorated for Christmas. 

Why do private houses need their Christmas decorations up already?  It looks very strange in November and I feel that the longer the Christmas period seems to last, the less special it becomes.  Would Christmas not be more exciting if it were only part of our lives in December?

Discussion

Do you think people put up their Christmas decorations too early? Would Christmas be more exciting if it were only part of our lives in December?