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It’s that time of year again. For the past few weeks, even before Halloween drew to a close, retail stores everywhere started putting up Christmas decorations. After Halloween, it got even more intense. By November 1st, it seems that almost every store has put up Christmas decorations, replaced Halloween products with Christmas ones and  some even started playing Christmas music. I noticed as I walked down the street that people were now carrying bright red cups from Starbucks and even overheard two customers joke about how they were being forced to get into the Christmas spirit whether they wanted to or not.

It seems that we, as consumers and customers, go through this every year and I swear it starts earlier each year. I saw the first Christmas themed advertisement back in September (!!!) and by the middle of October I noticed a huge number of stores with their decorations up. Some of them even had Christmas trees for sale! Even for those of us who celebrate Christmas, it’s all too much. That’s why I was surprised and delighted last week when I read a story stating that Shoppers Drug Mart had suspended playing Christmas music due to customer complaints. What was even better were the comments (aside from a few idiots who thought the move was “evidence” of the west being taken over by “jihadists”) from people who, just like me, say that although they love Christmas they would rather wait until much later in the season to start celebrating.

Most people ask that at the very least, stores wait until after Remembrance Day to put up their decorations. Remebrance Day was today and it is the one day out of the year when Canadians are urged to remember the soldiers who died for our freedom. It is an incredibly solemn and serious day and not a time to think about holidays and being merry. Personally I think that stores should wait even longer before decorating. As with most commenters on the original story, I would be ecstatic if stores waited until December 1st before they started with the decorations and the music. However, I am a really big fan of Nordstrom’s yearly sign that they will not put up their Christmas decorations until after American Thanksgiving because they believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. Of course that wouldn’t quite work in Canada, where Thanksgiving is celebrated in October, but it’s always something to consider!

And for anyone who thinks that is a sign of Christians giving up their beliefs and right to celebrate the holidays, it’s not. The church itself doesn’t even start focusing on Christmas until Advent, the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas. I strongly believe that if anyone really wants to focus on Christmas, they should spend less time shopping and more time volunteering, doing good deeds and, oh yeah, maybe actually going to church.