South of the border, we don’t even consider holiday-themed wrapping and decoration items on display at warehouse stores in July “news” anymore. Sure, it’s an example of Christmas Creep, but many readers have also pointed out to us (repeatedly) that small businesses use Costco for some of their supplies, and these small businesses need to buy Christmas ribbon in mid-July for some reason. Fine.
This is all new to the CBC, though, which interviewed ordinary Canadians shopping at Costco about the early appearance of wrapping paper. One shopper used the “small businesses shop at Costco, too” argument, and another complained that it’s too early, and he plans to buy his wrapping paper on December 24th.
A marketing professor at Simon Fraser University put the blame for Christmas Creep squarely where it belongs: America. We simply don’t celebrate Christmas the same way Canadians do, and American ownership of chains like Costco and Target means that our disgusting marketing schedules have crept north, too.
“In the United States, Christmas is not the family holiday that it is here. Christmas is an economic time for the retailers to make the money,” she explained to the CBC.
That’s not really how it works, though, is it? We’re buying presents for our friends and family and spending time with them. Sure, marketers want us to think that how much we spend on our family members is a direct proxy for how much we care about them, but most people are bright enough to see through that.
Besides, if you see the holiday season as an “economic time,” the flaw in that reasoning is that putting Christmas stuff out in July means that the season lasts almost half of the year.