Tuesday, 30 December 2008

After Christmas Day

I have complained before in this blog about how Americans do not celebrate the twelve days of the Yuletide. That is, they don't seem to realise that the Twelve Days of Christmas begin on the evening of December 24 and end on the day of January 6. For the past many years this has been reflected in American businesses. I remember a few years ago there was a WalMart commercial that aired after December 25 (heck, it may have started on December 25) that began with the line, "Now that the holidays are over..." Never mind that even with Americans no longer observing the whole Yuletide, most people count New Year's as part of the holidays! WalMart apparently still thinks the holidays end on Christmas Day. Just the other day I went to WalMart and noticed they had cleaned out the Christmas candy aisle and were putting up Valentine's Day candy (who on Earth would buy Valentine's candy this early?!). Of course, many average Americans take down their Christmas decorations on December 26, as if the holidays are over (here I must note that some of them put them up on the day after Thanksgiving, which is far too early to me....).

Fortunately, it seems to me that there are signs that this may be changing. I have noticed many people around here are keeping their Yule decorations up after Christmas Day, more than have in the past several years. What is more, it seems to me that the much of the media is observing Christmas past Christmas Day. To wit, it seems to me that more holiday themed commercials are being shown after Christmas Day than have in the past several years. There is a Sprint commercial that makes reference to the holidays. The classic M&Ms commercial with Santa Claus. And there is a Pampers commercial playing "Silent Night." Now a few holiday themed commercials have always hung on after Christmas Day, but it seems to me that there are more than what there used to be.

Another sign that ignoring all Twelve Days of Christmas could be changing is television programming. The Hallmark Channel has been showing Christmas movies every night, even after Christmas Day. Indeed, they are even showing a marathon of them on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve the USA Network is showing Elf for 24 hours straight. Now, granted, I don't like the movie, but I have to admire the fact that they are showing a Christmas movie on New Year's Eve.

My own hope is that perhaps this means a shift towards the United States observing the whole Yuletide and not just part of it. It seems as if as the twentieth century wore on, the United States celebrated less and less of the Twelve Days of the holidays until they have more or less ceased to exist here. Much of it is due to the fact that I think Americans confused the Christmas shopping season (traditionally from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve) with the holiday season. Of course, that brings me to my next point. Now if only we could get American businesses and American citizens to stop putting up Yuletide decorations and playing Yuletide music before December 1....

1 comment:

RC said...

The other day I heard something for the first time...I was talking to some who referred to the month of december before Christmas as Advent, and after Christmas day (Dec. 25th) said "we are now in the season of Christmas."

I feel like you might be on to something.