“Itâ€™s hopeless to try to work against business interests which set new records with each Christmas season,” says Birger Sivertsen in the campaign “Gi oss Julen tilbake” (Give us back Christmas), based in Norway.
He admits that the battle is lost.
“Weâ€™ve lobbied against the worst firms and our members have taken part in massive e-mail campaigns, but to no avail,” says Sivertsen.
More than 30,000 people have signed the campaigns petition since the autumn of 2002. The list of signatures was handed to Handel og ServicenÃ¦ringens Hovedorganisasjon, the confederation of shop owners.
“Looking back, we can see that our work has been a complete waste of time. Shop owners donâ€™t care if the great majority of people donâ€™t want to have massive Christmas celebrations forced on them from the end of September. They donâ€™t care if they take the pleasure, the expectation and the excitement out of the greatest holiday of the year, by turning it into a gruelling three-month celebration,” says Sivertsen to news bureau NTB.
He still thinks that the campaign has achieved a lot to the extent that it has started a debate about the issue and by involving young people. Nevertheless, the campaigners are giving up. The shop owners can start Christmas whenever they like without fear of criticism.