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Think Christmas Season Starts Too Early? It’s Nothing New.

It’s called ‘Christmas creep.’ It’s the constant pressure to start the Christmas season earlier and earlier every year.


Indeed, it does seem that Christmas creep gets progressively worse every year, with Christmas creeping into our lives earlier with every go around of the holiday season. This year has been no different. Lots of retailers, including Kmart, Target, Sears and Walmart have been criticized for cranking up their Christmas commercials way too early.

And as per usual, this year’s Christmas creep has been met with howls of outrage. Lots of people would like to be able to at least digest their Thanksgiving turkey before being thrown into the chaos of the Christmas shopping season. These days, Christmas is being advertised and promoted even before the Halloween ghosties and goblins visit your neighborhood.

Have you ever thought that it might be nice to go back in time, and revisit a period in which life was a bit less hectic, and Christmas was left for Christmas time?

You’d have to go back a very long way. Because it turns out that Christmas creep has been around for a very long time.

For the Sake of Humanity, Shop Early!

That was the caption of an ad urging Christmas shoppers to get on with their business, and to do it NOW. The ad was intended to make life easier for shop clerks who were overwhelmed during the traditional Christmas shopping season. The year the ad was published? 1912.

An ad that ran in mid-November, 1885 shouts: “KEEP IT IN MIND! CHRISTMAS IS COMING.” And the add proclaims that anyone intending to purchase Christmas gifts will find that particular retailer’s store ready for Christmas shopping right now.

In 1893 a Salt Lake City retailer promoting an early Christmas event ran an ad that threatened: “This is no joke. We will do it…MONDAY, MONDAY, MONDAY.” Not sure exactly what they were threatening to do on MONDAY, MONDAY, MONDAY, but apparently Salt Lake City survived the event.

And in 1914 the Hoosier Cabinet Company ran an ad in August that urged American wives to nudge their husbands into early Christmas-shopping action: “Just wink your Christmas eye at Mr. Husband and say ‘Hoosier.’”

That Creep Has Been Around for a Long Time…

Obviously, Christmas creep has been around for a very long time. And though it truly seems as though the Christmas season kicks off earlier every year, it’s a misconception. Because as it turns out, Christmas has “seemed” to be starting earlier every year for well over a century.

What’s the old saying? The more things change…

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 11:40 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.