I was listening to the radio this morning in work when on came Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You”, and this got me thinking about how long the Christmas season seems to last these days.
When I was younger, the Christmas decorations never went up until the third Sunday in December. This was because my birthday is in December and I was allowed to keep my cards up for a week. So to me Christmas never really started until about a week before Christmas Day.
Nowadays, I put the decorations up at some point between the 1st and the 25th of December – yes, one year I did put them up on Christmas Day! The actually date varies depending upon how busy I am. As I rarely get visitors, I see no point in putting them up too early. But I do make sure they’re up before my daughter comes to stay (unless she wants to help put them up). For me, Christmas begins on the first day of Advent, although due to work pressures, I rarely get into the festive spirit much before Christmas Eve.
But when it comes to the world at large, we seem to be extending the Christmas season every year. The Christmas lights in Brighton and Oxford Street in London have been turned on this week. The shops have been selling Christmas goodies for several weeks. And now the radio is playing Christmas music.
I feel we have lost our way with Christmas. It is no longer about the birth of Jesus. It is now just about getting people in the mood to spend money, either on presents, food/drink or decorations. For a large proportion of people (and not just non-Christians) it is purely commercial
So when does Christmas begin for you? Are you someone who gets in to the spirit early on? Or do you just celebrate during Advent and Christmastide?