Christmas Creep: Will Christmas In July Eventually Become The Actual Start To The Holiday Season?

It’s the beginning of September and we’re starting to see them.. the first hints of the holiday season. And every year, with the holidays peeking out into still 90 degree days, people start to ask: “Why is this happening?” “What is Christmas doing in my Labor Day?” “What about Halloween and Thanksgiving?” and wonder “Is this happening earlier every year?”  It’s called “Christmas Creep” and we did a little digging to determine if in fact it is happening earlier each year and if so, how far are we from having Christmas in July being the actual kickoff to Christmas?

Some early examples of Christmas Creep come from a Wikipedia entry of the same title. Since it is from Wikipedia, we know it is accurate and is therefore suitable evidence for this quest. According to the entry,

“Christmas creep is a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers exploit the commercialized status of Christmas by moving up the start of the holiday shopping season. The term was first used in the mid-1980s. The Christmas season begins with Advent between November 27 and December 3 and lasts through Christmastide, which officially starts December 25 and lasts 12 days.”

They cite the first major examples of Christmas Creep starting around the year 2000, with home improvement store Lowe’s initiating a policy requiring their stores to put out Christmas trees and decorations by October 1. In the following years, Wal-Mart, JC Penney, and Target all began starting their Christmas sales in October.

In 2008, mid-November was too early for John Kelly of The Washington Post with his article “Its Not the Eggnog Talking: Christmas is Starting Earlier” and he embarked on our same quest, to find out how much the season has moved forward by looking at the Washington Post’s archives. He found early evidence of Christmas Creep beginning in 1910, with other moves in 1926, 1939, and 1942. But in all of his examples, we were never further out than 2 months before Christmas. Fast forward to 2013.

The popular blog, Consumerist, has a tag devoted to examples of Christmas Creep and let’s just say it – August is fair game now. Check out this picture submitted by a reader, saying, “Went to Costco Monday looking for some beach supplies. I might be too late.”

See more excellent examples of Christmas Creep submitted to the Consumerist by clicking here.

If we were looking at an October start in 2000.. and we’re now in August in 2013.. how far away are we from July? If it took us thirteen years to move forward eight weeks – to advance another 4 weeks, we’ll need 2.4 years. So, we’re looking at a July start to the 2015 holiday season and we can start singing our favorite carols like  “182 Days of Christmas” or “It’s the Most Wonderful Half of the Year” or “Frosty the.. Ice Cold Beverage That I Need Right Now Because It is July” And to be fair.. according to what has been submitted to the Consumerist – we may already be in some sort of year-round holiday season.. too bad it doesn’t come with all the extra vacation days.

Well here’s one way to keep your holidays contained to their traditional, relatively short and sweet timeline, AND be able to enjoy them. Use CheckedTwice to manage your gift giving!


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