Christmas hits airwaves early

Kathleen McFadden

Each year, Halloween is celebrated not only as a time for dressing in costume and going trick-or-treating but also as a kickoff to the holiday season.

After Halloween, our culture celebrates many other holidays. Probably the most popular of these holidays is Christmas, but it seems that it might be overshadowing the others.

Even before Halloween this year, Christmas decorations began lighting up department stores and restaurants. Years ago, these decorations traditionally did not start being put up until the day after Thanksgiving.

This early Christmas trend is happening locally and nationally. Starbucks has begun handing out its signature red Christmas cups, and Bertucci’s has table advertisements for holiday gift cards.

Department stores and malls are also bringing out the Christmas decorations. The King of Prussia Mall has decorated its two buildings with Christmas wreaths and jingle bells. Lancaster Avenue is already illuminated by snowflake lights hung on lampposts. In some locations, garland drapes these posts.

Decorations aren’t the only Christmas element that’s come early. Local Philadelphia radio station 95.7 Ben FM has started playing Christmas songs every night starting at 8 p.m. Traditionally, radio stations do not start blasting Christmas songs into our ears until after Thanksgiving.

Even entertainment is telling our culture which holiday should be in the spotlight. Movie commercials and advertisements have transformed from Halloween thrillers to Christmas films.

With all of these decorations and songs telling us to get in the Christmas spirit, it is hard not to get excited. Yet, celebrating the Christmas season this early seems strange, especially since Halloween has just finished and Thanksgiving is still weeks away.

So, why are Christmas celebrations coming so early?

One reason could be that people just love the Christmas season. Christmas is not just a holiday; it is a feeling of being surrounded by loved ones, cozying up to a warm fire and listening to Christmas songs that bring back old memories.

Another reason for these early Christmas elements is simply profit-based. Stores have goals to outsell each other, and if one company starts early, everyone must follow.

Whatever the reason for these early Christmas elements, they are here and are bringing us into the winter holiday season earlier than ever while the leaves are still browning and falling from trees.