It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Last Monday, 8th November, we noticed that a house at the end of the street has a red bow and Christmas wreath on the front door and hanging snowflakes and lights in the front window 🤭🙄☹️. Is this a record?
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Comments

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    No, its a wreath!
    And response to all the TV ads which have been at it for weeks.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    edited November 14
    There definitely does seem to be a very active very early Christmas. There's definitely rumours of trees being up in houses. The shops seemed very early too, with things starting to change at the beginning of October.

    Mind you given Easter's success in the war on Christmas, Christmas has to grab some of that All Hallows turf.
    More practically, given for many people last christmas was messed up at the last minute there's probably a high demand to make sure something festive is banked.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host
    Yes, a lot of people are buying early rather than waiting, the shops are delighted cos then they are paying full price - and have responded by bringing forward the Christmas ads etc.
  • Coffee shop in peterhead had a Christmas tree up last week….
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited November 15
    I am seeing a commercial on YouTube that is just an ordinary ad, but with white dots falling down in front of the action like fake snow. There's nothing in the ad copy or video clips that has anything to do with Christmas. It's like someone in marketing woke up one morning and said, "Oh shit, we don't have a Christmas-themed ad, what can we do?" and this is the best they could come up with on short notice and very low budget. The ad is for an electric bicycle.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Yes, a lot of people are buying early rather than waiting, the shops are delighted cos then they are paying full price - and have responded by bringing forward the Christmas ads etc.

    Given the real struggles for many retailers, I don't blame them. I think part of the problem is that November is still autumn, but it's Crap Autumn which is all about rain and it getting dark at 4pm, rather than Photogenic Autumn's crisp leaves and sunshine. So I think people look forward to Christmas rather than trying to find something about Crap Autumn to enjoy.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    mousethief wrote: »
    I am seeing a commercial on YouTube that is just an ordinary ad, but with white dots falling down in front of the action like fake snow. There's nothing in the ad copy or video clips that has anything to do with Christmas. It's like someone in marketing woke up one morning and said, "Oh shit, we don't have a Christmas-themed ad, what can we do?" and this is the best they could come up with on short notice and very low budget. The ad is for an electric bicycle.

    They could at least have put someone in a red bobble hat on it, hung a few parcels from the handlebars.

    I've noticed one particularly elaborate Christmas-themed TV ad - I've no idea what for, since I always press the mute button. But it seems to involve lots of carol singers bursting into people's living rooms.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Firenze wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I am seeing a commercial on YouTube that is just an ordinary ad, but with white dots falling down in front of the action like fake snow. There's nothing in the ad copy or video clips that has anything to do with Christmas. It's like someone in marketing woke up one morning and said, "Oh shit, we don't have a Christmas-themed ad, what can we do?" and this is the best they could come up with on short notice and very low budget. The ad is for an electric bicycle.

    They could at least have put someone in a red bobble hat on it, hung a few parcels from the handlebars.

    I've noticed one particularly elaborate Christmas-themed TV ad - I've no idea what for, since I always press the mute button. But it seems to involve lots of carol singers bursting into people's living rooms.

    Triple glazing and security grilles maybe? :naughty:
  • On my walk this morning I saw a house still all decked out for Halloween and next door Christmas decorations in the yard.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I declare the Christmas season has begun, as I had my first rehearsal of Handel’s Messiah this evening.
    It was seriously good. I am privileged to belong to a brilliant choir which sings Messiah every year, with the exception of 2020 of course. Tonight’s rendition was note perfect, with all the precision of a concert performance. It is good to be back!
  • The Big Box Stores likely got their artificial trees in around mid-September. They usually have them up for sale just after Halloween. We have been getting fliers promoting early Black Friday sales since the First of November.

    Myself, I will get the outdoor lights up this next week. We probably will not have our tree up until mid-December, though. We would host international students and would love to put the tree up when they were here. We had a student from Hong Kong who really got into it. A Muslim woman really liked to hear the story behind the tree. Our German student related how they trimmed the tree on Christmas Eve.

    The downside this year is the shipping backlog. My bet is people will be giving a lot of Christmas Gift Cards this year.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    I am seeing a commercial on YouTube that is just an ordinary ad, but with white dots falling down in front of the action like fake snow. There's nothing in the ad copy or video clips that has anything to do with Christmas. It's like someone in marketing woke up one morning and said, "Oh shit, we don't have a Christmas-themed ad, what can we do?" and this is the best they could come up with on short notice and very low budget. The ad is for an electric bicycle.

    They could at least have put someone in a red bobble hat on it, hung a few parcels from the handlebars.

    I've noticed one particularly elaborate Christmas-themed TV ad - I've no idea what for, since I always press the mute button. But it seems to involve lots of carol singers bursting into people's living rooms.

    That would require them to re-film with a bike with parcels. This way they just need to superimpose snowflake blobs.
  • Today being the first day of Orthodox Advent, I will observe the occasion as I always do by playing George Winston's "December" album.
  • My Christmas Cactus has been telling me it's Christmas for about three weeks now.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I have one of those: it's really an Advent & Lent Cactus.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Everybody is getting the same for Christmas from us this year. A hand turned bowl made of lovely cherry wood from a tree that blew down twenty years ago - it’s just ready now for turning. Each bowl will be filled with chocolates. Mr Boogs is about half way through.

    I’m making the wrapping paper from parcel wrap. I’m also about half way through.

    🌲
  • Ooooooh! I love cherry wood bowls!

    But I live under strict Christmas Rules. No Christmas decorations are permitted up prior to (U.S.) Thanksgiving and I pretend not to see those that other people put up. I will be putting up my lights on November 26-27.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    Everybody is getting the same for Christmas from us this year. A hand turned bowl made of lovely cherry wood from a tree that blew down twenty years ago - it’s just ready now for turning. Each bowl will be filled with chocolates. Mr Boogs is about half way through.

    I’m making the wrapping paper from parcel wrap. I’m also about half way through.

    🌲
    That sounds wonderful! You have some lucky gift-receivers.


    Hedgehog wrote: »
    But I live under strict Christmas Rules. No Christmas decorations are permitted up prior to (U.S.) Thanksgiving and I pretend not to see those that other people put up. I will be putting up my lights on November 26-27.
    I’m so with you about no decorations prior to Thanksgiving. We’re even stricter. No decorations here until the first Sunday of Advent, and then only a handful of decorations that are Advent-specific. No Christmas decorations until sometime in December. Our daughter’s birthday is Dec. 10, and we generally let her say whether she wants the house decorated for Christmas on her birthday or not. Some years she says not, but other years she wants it decorated. She’ll be home from college by her birthday this year, so we’ll see which she wants.

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    We'd all like to be on the Boogie Christmas Gift List. :smile:
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    No Christmas decorations until sometime in December. Our daughter’s birthday is Dec. 10, and we generally let her say whether she wants the house decorated for Christmas on her birthday or not. Some years she says not, but other years she wants it decorated. She’ll be home from college by her birthday this year, so we’ll see which she wants.
    I expect we've had the conversation before on the Ship about people with December birthdays and Christmas decorations. My birthday is a few days after your daughter's and because when I was a child my mum always said the decorations had to be up by my birthday I associate them with it. One busy year when I was still working outside the home I didn't manage it and the birthday was Just All Wrong.

    However, someone I worked with has the same birthday and her mum had always insisted that "We have to celebrate L's birthday properly before we think about Christmas" so she never put her decorations up until after that day.
  • Another December birthday here. Day after Thanksgiving outside decorations go up. In the house nothing until Advent wreath. We celebrate my birthday. Next I put the Christmas tree up on the Feast of St. Nicholas along with a display of my collection of Santas. Santas get put away and next it is the Feast of the Virgin of Guadeloupe. Her picture is taken down and next the nativity figures minus Baby Jesus. Wisemen move closer each day from across the house. Christmas Eve the tree lights are turned on and gifts are open. Somehow for me the ever changing Christmas events makes my December birthday at the start feel fun and part of the cycle of Christmas Just never wrap my gift in Holiday paper. 12th night is a feast with cake and all is put away the next day.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Waiting until after US Thanksgiving makes sense, but it's hard to see what would be a good date in the UK if not Bonfire Night - but that feels a little early. For most people Christ the King isn't well known enough for that.
  • Traditionally, in England, Christmas decorations went up on Christmas Eve, the sort of Christmas that we know about, which was invented by Dickens, pretty much. That either meant a family decorating party on Christmas Eve or parents decorating trees after the children had gone to bed so they woke up on Christmas morning to a tree and presents. And the tree had a chance of lasting until 5 or 6 January.

    If I didn't wait to Christmas Eve, I used to wait until after the schools had broken up to start decorating, partly because wherever I worked regularly borrowed my Christmas tree, so it wasn't available for home until then. That meant I didn't decorate until at least 21 December or later. Traditionally in my family both my grandfathers had December birthdays, and decorations went up after them, which for one was 23rd December.

    There are disadvantages with this preference - that there are no fresh trees available that late these days being the main one.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I am notorious in my family for trying to push Christmas decorating as late as possible -- I would be happy to be back in the days of the tree going up Chritsmas Eve and coming down on Old Christmas Day. Since we cut a real tree from the wood around our cabin, I can push it pretty late because a real tree won't last the six weeks that some people like to leave an artificial tree up.

    This year however there seems to be a lot of sentiment along the lines of "It's been a hard year and a half (plus!) for everyone; if putting up Christmas lights early brings people a little joy in the dark times, don't begrudge them their happiness." So I am trying hard not to grumble.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I've been looking for the tiny buds on my Christmas cacti...and behold! One has them today!

    I went for my every-three-weeks allergy shots today (mostly cat :cry: ) and the doctor's office is all decorated for Christmas already! The last time I was there, it was all decked out for Hallowe'en!!

  • Interesting the various approaches to December birthdays different families develop. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but one of our good friends was born on December 25. (And her father is a Presbyterian minister.) Her family dealt with that by having “Christmas” from Christmas Eve through noon/lunch on the 25th, after which all celebration focused on her birthday.

    As for trees, we generally put our (fresh) tree up just before or just after our daughter’s birthday (depending on her preference, which can vary from year to year), and leave it up through January 6.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    We've been ignoring Christmas for some years - and it's ignored us right back. But since this thread started I've been sensitised to the rising levels of Yule all around. The shopping centre I visited yesterday was decorated: no Santa's grotto this year, just a large teddy bear lolling in a gilded rocking chair. On TV the big supermarkets are bringing up the heavy guns. All Christmas dinners apparently consist of at least 30 people, multi-generational and multiracial, and all insanely happy.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I popped into the garden centre last week for- er…garden stuff, and I was horrified by the complete take-over of festive items, mainly lights, lanterns, baubles. Normally there is a large area dedicated to the sort of thing one might buy as a nondescript gift when you don't know what to buy, which I would have thought would be useful at this time of year. I soon found I could not bear it any longer and I walked out empty handed. I could not find the garden stuff I went in for. Why do people need to buy new decorations every year, whole new colour schemes or themes? For me, the few decorations I put up are part of our tradition, where familiarity is important.
  • And all with perfectly cooked platters of far more food than they can possibly eat.
  • The Knotweed and I were in Poundbury (weird place!) early in *October* and the garden shop there was already eyeballs-deep in Christmas tat, to the point where I had to walk through about four rooms to find the loo and the garden stuff!
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Cathscats wrote: »
    And all with perfectly cooked platters of far more food than they can possibly eat.

    All available at X supermarket!

    We have a multi page flier for foodstuffs through the door one year in which every single item was described as 'luxury'. Even the Yorkshire puddings. Eee, luxury! We 'ad t'make do wi' bubble wrap, painted brown.

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    The Knotweed and I were in Poundbury (weird place!) early in *October* and the garden shop there was already eyeballs-deep in Christmas tat, to the point where I had to walk through about four rooms to find the loo and the garden stuff!

    Garden centres are always tat-heavy places, Christmas is just the Prime Tat time. Although the nearest garden centre to me is very disconcertingly scented with some generic wintery sweet spice scent in the indoor section - very offputting for people like me who are prone to fragrance-triggered migraines.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    I don't do Christmas decorations and the tree until after Advent Sunday. We have a special tradition in which all the grandchildren come and decorate my tree followed by a pizza party. It is a special time although the eldest grandson thinks he is too grown up for such an event.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    We've been ignoring Christmas for some years - and it's ignored us right back. But since this thread started I've been sensitised to the rising levels of Yule all around. The shopping centre I visited yesterday was decorated: no Santa's grotto this year, just a large teddy bear lolling in a gilded rocking chair. On TV the big supermarkets are bringing up the heavy guns. All Christmas dinners apparently consist of at least 30 people, multi-generational and multiracial, and all insanely happy.

    Norman Rockwell gone mad.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host
    In our family we generally still decorate on Christmas Eve and have everything down by January 6th. There’s a vague superstitious feeling that to do otherwise is bad luck.
  • In our family we generally still decorate on Christmas Eve and have everything down by January 6th. There’s a vague superstitious feeling that to do otherwise is bad luck.

    I can never get this tradition straight in my mind: whether as January 5th is twelfth night the decorations should come down then or the next day on the 6th.

    As for when they go up, apparently anything goes around here! Ours go up on the 17th December with the beginning of the O Antiphons. However as I've got older I've mellowed and started to enjoy other people's personal choices if it makes them happy.
    Shops on the other hand.....
  • SpikeSpike Admin Emeritus
    Does anyone here keep their decorations up until Candlemas (2nd February)?
  • I keep my crib out until Candlemas.
  • Spike wrote: »
    Does anyone here keep their decorations up until Candlemas (2nd February)?

    We did last year (well, this year really, but you know what I mean), because if ever a year needed bright lights....
  • Melangell wrote: »
    I keep my crib out until Candlemas.

    Same here
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    One house I pass keeps its white outdoor lights on all year, and why not? I am glad to see most (tacky) decorations go but I miss the lights in gardens in the dark days of January.
  • The Rector here used to keep his decorations up to Candlemas, I suspect he still does where he lives now.
  • Puzzler, I hate the dreariness of January after the bright lights of Christmas too.
    We had to go for our flu jabs yesterday, and saw about half a dozen houses with trees and/or lights already. I bet they’ll be down by Boxing Day ☹️
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    I got a catalog yesterday from Hammacher Schlemmer, a company that sells high-priced items, many of which are strange and useless. My favorite item in this catalog is 'The Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster", electric of course. It only costs $69.95.
  • In our family we generally still decorate on Christmas Eve and have everything down by January 6th. There’s a vague superstitious feeling that to do otherwise is bad luck.
    When I was a child, most people took their Christmas decorations down around Dec. 30 or 31, and I remember hearing that it was bad luck for the tree to still be in the house on New Year’s Day. (Perhaps because it would be becoming more of a fire hazard?) There were some who left decorations up through Jan. 6, and over time that has become more common, though still probably a “minority” practice. We always seem to be among the last in the neighborhood to take our decorations down.

    As for Candlemas, I doubt the average person in these parts—even the average Catholic or average Episcopalian—would have much clue what Candlemas is, much less see it as the end of the Christmas season or think of leaving any Christmas decorations up through then.

    For the other bookend of the December birthday discussion, my birthday is about a week after Epiphany, and I do not want any Christmas things still in the house come my birthday. It’s just all wrong to me.

    And as much as I love all the Christmas decorations, I also really love the cleanness and simplicity that’s left when they’re taken down.

  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    And as much as I love all the Christmas decorations, I also really love the cleanness and simplicity that’s left when they’re taken down.

    Yes! This is my attitude as well. I often say my two favourite days of winter are the day we put up the tree and the day we take it down. Some people talk about how depressing it is to take down the tree and decorations, but I love tidying everything away and making it neat again ... good way to signal the start of a new year.

    Old folks (of which I am now one) around here tend to be hard-line on keeping the tree up until January 6, but mine comes down either on Jan 6, or on the day before I go back to work if that's earlier than Jan 6. I can't get into the new semester work mindset if the house still looks like it's beckoning me to relax for the holidays.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    For the other bookend of the December birthday discussion, my birthday is about a week after Epiphany, and I do not want any Christmas things still in the house come my birthday. It’s just all wrong to me.

    That's my birthday, too! I can remember a few times getting a birthday gift wrapped in Christmas paper when I was a kid. It was a bit disconcerting, even to my young mind.

    Nowadays, there are a few Christmas things I leave up all year round, just because they do bring me joy! One is the little Alaskan crèche my BFF brought to me after one of her trips there. There is a moose, a wolf and a bear beside the Holy Family and their igloo.


  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    With Christmas being on a Saturday this year, Advent comes earlier than feels quite right to me.

    My son's (Catholic) school is having its Advent mass on 23 November. (I'm not Catholic but I think I'll probably go just to see what it's like.)
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    We used to go to an Advent service at KCL Chapel. Beautiful music. Won't be doing that any more, though.
  • Penny S wrote: »
    We used to go to an Advent service at KCL Chapel. Beautiful music. Won't be doing that any more, though.
    KCL=King’s College London? And I get the sense maybe there’s a reason you won’t be going there again that might be obvious to some, but that isn’t to me.

  • I just finished wrapping family Christmas gifts, as the out-of-town folks will all be there for Thanksgiving this year and this will save me a wrap for mailing and a trip standing in line at the post office. I shop all year so no gift buying was needed.
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