Since you're on this website, there’s a good chance you’re a fan of Christmas and Christmas music, and you’ve run across your share of these particular creeps yourself.
It seems to be that time of year again, I’ve started seeing articles, blogs and posts complaining about what some refer to as “Christmas Creep”. This is supposed to mean that retailers are rushing the season, starting to put Christmas items out earlier and earlier every year.
I think of it more as a “Grinch Creep”. It’s really about the people who like to complain about Christmas music, lights, presents, etc. And, of course, some are just people who like to complain, period. Sadly, we all know the type.
I remember working in the receiving department of a large, box bookstore almost thirty years ago. In early August, customers would start asking about Christmas books. This was not about books to give as gifts, possibly to someone overseas so it would take a long time to get there. This was about books that were about Christmas – decorating, cooking, etc.
And this was not just one or two customers, but multiple customers, asking daily when we would have our Christmas collections out.
I’m sure similar things happen at other retail stores. And while some Grinches like to complain about stores rushing the season, the truth is they’re simply trying to meet their customers’ demand. Seriously, if no one bought this stuff in August or September, would stores continue to give it the shelf space?
Despite these Grinches saying that Christmas is creeping into stores earlier and earlier every year, this is nothing new.
And it’s not just retail.
Elvis Presley’s first Christmas album was released on October 15. And that was 1957. People at that time were upset that Elvis would dare perform these sacred songs in his rock and roll style. Irving Berlin himself tried to have the album banned from radio airplay.
No one complained that it was only October. That could be because Frank Sinatra and Gene Autry both released Christmas albums a month earlier. Go back to the previous decade, and you’ll find that Gene Autry released “Here Comes Santa Claus” on October 6. And that was 1947!
They wouldn’t do it if people weren’t buying it.
And for those creating Christmas-related things, the season starts even earlier. Mel Torme famously recorded “The Christmas Song” in the heat of summer, decorating the studio with Christmas lights to help get into the spirit. In the summer of 2021, Rob Thomas was working on his first Christmas album, and had a giant TV screen put in the studio, so he could watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel to help get into the spirit.
And on previous episodes of this podcast, you can hear Suzanne from Suzanne’s Band, Michael Sinatra and many other artists talk about all that goes into the creation of their Christmas releases.
But if you want to, you can.
Now, we do have listeners on November 1, hopefully enjoying their favorite Christmas songs alongside new music from singers and bands they may or may not know. And while we haven’t always been on year-round, we have always started our new season on the first of November.
The point of all this is that no one is rushing anything. Christmas is ready for you to embrace it whenever you want, and it has been that way for a very long time.
In “A Christmas Carol”, Charles Dickens wrote “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
Those last three words are All the year. Not just in December. Not just after Thanksgiving. Not just at any particular time someone else decides is appropriate for you.
All the year.
And those words were written in 1843.
You don’t have to watch any of those, of course. But if you want to, you can.
No one’s making you buy Christmas decorations or candy canes, either.
So whether it’s December or September, if you feel like reveling in some Christmas spirit, you don’t need anyone’s permission. And you aren’t rushing anything.
It isn’t up to anyone else to determine when you get into the Christmas Spirit. No matter what the creeps say.
May you always believe in Santa Claus!