Take 12

The Christmas season seems to be starting earlier and earlier until it can’t take another step backwards on the calendar without interfering with Halloween. To that end, all the accoutrement associated with the holidays began hitting the shelves in stores earlier this week. Don’t you find that disrespectful, considering we haven’t observed Remembrance Day yet?

There’s a national push to have retailers scale back their holiday cheer in honour of our veterans, and it is starting with a very well-known Canadian. Brett Wilson — businessman, philanthropist and former Dragon’s Den star — is spearheading the idea. He finds it disappointing and all-around inappropriate that stores are putting up things like Christmas lights the moment that Halloween wraps up.

Mr. Wilson notes that he is “noticing more and more the influence of the crass commercialization of Christmas occurring the moment the last witch and chocolate bar is put to bed. And I thought we could use the early part of November to be far more thoughtful and respectful of what our veterans have done for us.” He continues to say that “I get frustrated by the thought that Remembrance Day is one minute for many people. They get word that it’s time to be quiet for a moment and then they go about their daily duties without really putting a lot of thought or effort into the moment.”

Sure, retailers are doing this to drive sales, but are you really Christmas shopping this early in November? I know I’m not. I’m not ready for Christmas carols or shopping right now, and I don’t need a reminder that the Christmas season is just around the corner. By no means am I saying that I don’t like Christmas. I just think that Mr. Wilson is right: we could all stand to show more respect. Lest we forget: it’s not something we should be uttering simply in passing. I think the time between Halloween and Remembrance Day would be better used by retailers to help commemorate those who’ve served; there’s plenty of time after Remembrance Day to boost their own bottom line.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial, Confederation Square in Ottawa

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