On November 1st, stores in America put all of their Halloween stuff on clearance and started rolling out more Christmas merchandise. I say “more of” because I know a lot of places were setting up for the holidays as early as September. And every year, here come the Christmas Police, complaining that it’s too soon. As if there’s some law that you’re not allowed to even think about Christmas until Black Friday.
Lights in the Darkness
I put our fairy lights up back in September, on the equinox. Yeah, not Christmas light, fairy lights. They’re strings of plain white lights, which seems to be the standard here. Sometimes you’ll see strands of all blue lights. Rarely will you find anything else. In Finland it’s common to put your lights up at the equinox because the days official begin getting shorter. Many folks wait until 1 November, the start of Marraskuu, literally death month, when the leaves are all off the trees and it starts getting really dark.
Some folks wait until 1 December because then it’s Joulukuu, officially yule month. No Black Friday here, because no Thanksgiving to create a long weekend. December is when you start seeing what Americans would consider to be “Christmas” decorations appearing. Trees and reindeer, advent calendars and nativity scenes. But those folks probably already had lights up, fake candles on the windowsill and maybe a lighted star. Because it’s a darkness thing, not a Christmas thing.
I Want Candy
The Yule candy started appearing in October. No big Halloween here, not like in the US. Part of it is so people can begin stocking up. Buy a little something every payday. That’s part of what bothers me about the Christmas Police in America. The sooner stuff is available, the sooner you can start squirreling things away. Some people can’t save money. A lot of people don’t want to, or can’t, run up credit card debt. Get a little at a time, starting early. Makes sense to me.
People here also start eating that special candy. There are treats that are only available at this time of the year. No, we don’t save it all for the end of December. You’ve got to get through the cold, dark winter somehow. Chocolate helps. Really, really good chocolate. So yeah, we eat the Christmas stuff even though it’s not Christmas yet.
While Finland has a different cultural context, I don’t get why it’s a big deal when you’re “allowed” to start selling Christmas merch. I can use the Long Dark here as a justification, but even in America why is it an issue how early people start decorating? What about this “freedom” thing people are always screeching about? Don’t like it, don’t buy it. Don’t wanna see it, don’t look.
It’s not as if they’re releasing Christmas spoilers. Santa brings presents and Jesus is born. Boom! Ruined it for you.
12 Days of Blogmas
As an added bonus thumb in the eye of the Christmas Police, I’m considering doing a “12 Days of Blogmas” series of posts this year. Except, I’m not going to do it on the days leading up to 25 December. I’m going to use the actual 12 Days of Christmas, which starts on 25 December and end on Epiphany, 6 January. Whaaaat? The Christmas Police start getting snippy if you haven’t taken your Christmas decorations down immediately after New Year’s Day.
If there’s something specifically Yule- or Christmas-oriented that you’ve like me to write about, leave a comment below. Until then, go celebrate what you want, when you want, the way you want. Live your life. F the Christmas Police!