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What ever happened to the 12 days of Christmas? It’s starting to feel like two months.

When I was walking through the mall the other day, my ears were bombarded with the shrill sound of recorded children’s voices caroling away. They were soon replaced by Bing Crosby’s soothing croons.

Bing, honey, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” too, but here in Vancouver it’s still November. The only thing falling from the sky is wet, soggy rain – no snow or Rudolph in sight.

The fact is, as a student, I can’t even start thinking about Christmas until classes are over in early December. And starting Christmas as early as Nov. 1? At least give everyone a chance to get over their Halloween hangovers and change out of their costumes before they’re expected to jingle any bells.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Scrooge; I deck my halls, trim my tree and wrap presents like everyone else. I feel warm and happy at Christmas time, surrounded by festive joy and people I care about.

However, forcing Christmas down the throats of the masses is an ill marketing strategy by companies and retailers to milk the biggest cash cow of all holidays for all it’s worth.

I don’t appreciate Christmas cheer being exploited and profited on for the pure point of consumerism. I mean, it’s a pretty sick culture when the holiday season is rung in with a seasonal drink menu at Starbucks.

I’m not alone in the sentiment – Shoppers Drug Mart, who usually starts playing seasonal music in early November, recently ceased playing Christmas carols in its stores after receiving an inordinate amount of complaints from customers.

Really, isn’t listening to  “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” while purchasing that 50 per cent off bag of Halloween candy a bit of a disconnect?

On a further note, pushing the Christmas spirit in a way that borders on propaganda is willfully disrespectul of the other holidays in November.

Remembrance Day is a somber and reverent holiday. Can we at least wait until the red poppies have disappeared from people’s lapels before we start peddling poinsettias?

In a city so culturally diverse, I don’t see why Christmas deserves more hoopla in November than Diwali, for example. And there are no menorahs or Kwanzaa candles going up this month, so why are the shopping plazas festooned in tinsel the moment the bell tolls the end of Halloween’s witching hour?

All that being said, I will gladly roast chestnuts over an open fire and go dashing through the snow in the true spirit of the holidays.

I’m just waiting until December.

camille

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