Sunday, April 20, 2014
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COLUMN: On marketing Christmas

It’s hard to ignore the disturbing fact that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Now, in the beginning of December, with hardly any time to finish your Thanksgiving leftovers, the holiday season is, unfortunately, upon us. Actually, Christmas came even earlier than pumpkin patches this year. Apparently, in early fall, with 15 weeks and two major national holidays to go, it was not too early to start spreading Christmas cheer and singing loud for all to hear. On Sept. 9, the earliest launch of the holiday season of all time, Kmart aired the first advertisement of the Christmas season in an effort to promote their new layaway program.

And if airtime promoting Christmas commercialism wasn’t enough, the first fall breezes prematurely blew holiday products into the aisles of Costco. Before you could buy a Halloween costume, you could stock up on candy canes, wrapping paper and even fake Christmas trees in bulk. For many people, it may be the most wonderful time of the year, but excuse me while I try and recover from my Thanksgiving hangover.

I can’t deny that I am partial to the horrors of Hallows Eve and the gluttonous spirit of Thanksgiving, but I fear they are holidays that face extinction in the wake of Yuletide expansion. This year, “Black Friday” was moved back a day and became “Black Thursday,” a day on which many Americans used to celebrate something called Thanksgiving. In recent years, however, I’m less and less shocked to hear that friends are spending their day of thanks lined up outside of Best Buy feasting on bags of Cheetos in order to save 25 percent on the Xbox that, I promise, their boyfriends don’t need. I find that celebrating even 12 days of Christmas is beyond excessive and now Kmart and Costco want me to bypass other holidays and start preparing for Christmas as early as September? You can count me out.

The holidays. They’re a complete nightmare not only for wellness, but also for my wallet. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around all the money I spent on back-to-school supplies at the University Bookstore. Making payments on the debt I wracked up will, I promise you, extend well past this Christmas season. Unless you’re my mother, and probably not even then, don’t expect to receive a gift from me this year.

It may get my name demoted from the “Nice List” to the “Naughty List,” but I have never been a fan of the holiday season. To the many of you who are tweeting about the Christmas music that you’re already blasting, the halls you can’t wait to deck, and the presents you can’t wait to wrap, for goodness sake, please, stop! You are the reason that Kmart aired a holiday commercial in September and unless you want to get cut by my candy-cane-turned-shank, show some restraint! Although I’m sure your premature holiday posts are filled with nothing but good tidings and cheer, can’t you just wait at least until the Virgin Mary has reached her third trimester?

Kate Hofberg is a first year grad student in the College of Communication working on her masters in general journalism. She can be reached at kwhofberg@gmail.com.

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