Most of the time, you start hearing about Christmas long before December. You start seeing signs of it on TV, on the radio, in advertising messages, earlier and earlier each year. It could be holiday-themed TV specials, carols in the commercials, endless reruns of the Grinch, Scrooge, Santa or other manifestations such as presents, the Nutcracker, the tree, Rudolph blah, blah, blah.
No, I’m not being disrespectful of the religious celebration, the background noise I’m referring to is more about Cash than it is about Christ. THAT is the ultimate insult to sincere religious devotion.
Every year, the din starts earlier, trying to get people to buy, or as they prefer to say it, “get into the Christmas spirit”. The earliest I’ve seen it was in late September, but lately the noise starts around Halloween, and by Thanksgiving it is usually everywhere. You can’t get away from it. I don’t keep a log, or do surveys, but my subjective impression is that the informal Christmas festivities are starting earlier and earlier every year.
But this year has been different. I think the first reference to the holiday I can recall was in early December. No doubt you may be able to come up with a counter-example, but doesn’t it seem to you that the Christmas hysteria is a little late getting started this year? Could it be Trump, the election, the virus, the economy, the explosion of online shopping? What ever the reason, I get the impression the season is late this year. Here it is, Winter Solstice already, and there’s hardly a mention of it anywhere.
There are rhythms, cycles, patterns in time, be it physical or biological time, or social time. There are oscillations you notice if you are sensitive enough, or if you pay close attention, or if you just live long enough to be able to see the signal emerging from the noise.
Why is Christmas late this year?