Much ado is made of Christmas too soon in America. Just as the Christmas-in-July signs come down from retailers the media begins a season they call “Christmas creep”, a three month period of whining about the presence of Christmas in the marketplace. There is a post-Christmas whine as well, though generally not as prolific. It is known as “Christmas crapping”, a period of time extending into spring when the media assails those who keep their decorations up too long.
Christmas has always been a long season. For many, the extension of the bright colors of red, green, gold and white of Christmas are merely a means of adding cheer to the frigid gray of winter. But in different countries Christmas is genuinely celebrated more in January than in December. Russia and Slavic countries celebrate Epiphany, Puerto Rico relishes the 12 Days of Christmas and in Norway they extend it up to 20 days.
Post Christmas in America has three stages: the post-Christmas sale, the post-Christmas blues, and post-Christmas crapping.
For many, kicking that dried out Christmas tree to the curb on December 26th is a practice made necessary for safety’s sake alone. But for some, stripping those decked halls of all evidence of Christmas is more of a signal that the new year is fresh and the weight loss season has begun (that ends on Super Bowl Sunday, TV rules the American observance of all holidays). Once those houses have been de-Christmasfied it is time to hit the stores to buy….more Christmas stuff at deep discounts.
Much of the media made note that the first Monday after the New Year is always the most depressing day of the year. The holidays are over, it’s cold, there are bills to pay and work to be done. This kicks in the post-Christmas blues — genuine regret that the fun and frivolity of the holidays are over. For some, the blues last as long as a day or two and for others it can extend weeks.
But things get really ugly when post-Christmas crapping begins. This part of the year round cycle of Christmas starts just as January as ending, as neighbors and maybe even “concerned” city councils look askance at those still displaying Christmas displays outside. Letters to the editor, newspaper opinion pieces and aired commentary at the end of local broadcast news will generally fill their dead space with expressions that “It’s time for Christmas to be put away.”
By Ground Hog’s day the critics are all claws and venom. The media by then will be openly disdainful of neighbor-on-neighbor rifts about Christmas stuff left up and out too long. For some, it may even end up in court. And the media gives a play-by-play of these events well past the month of March and into the Easter season.
Already a New Jersey media outlet is asking…when should those Christmas decorations come down?
Let the Christmas Crapping begin.