From October to January, long live Xmas

Mahta Delshad, Copy Editor

Holiday shopping: it begins as early as the summertime for some and as late as mid-December for others. It all depends on the resources and motivation of the shopper.

Aside from summertime, which only has Independence Day, most of the calendar is packed with festivities. In October, there is Halloween, then November’s Thanksgiving and December’s Christmas and Hanukkah.

The season carries expectations of family reunions and fun decorations; one who celebrates these holidays has to brace themselves for the transition from spooky decorations to colorful light. Stores and shops take note of the holiday seasons’ atmosphere and prepare accordingly.

To give customers the chance to shop early, stores begin selling products and goods related to the upcoming holidays extremely early.  Many dislike the heaps of holiday stock months before what they deem appropriate, but I think it’s not only fun to get into the spirit early, it’s also useful and time-saving.

According to Wikipedia, a term called “Christmas creep” defines “a merchandising phenomenon in which merchants and retailers introduce Christmas-themed merchandise or decorations before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, which is on the day after Thanksgiving.” A cluster of stores bring in Christmas items starting as early as a few days before Halloween (Huffington Post). Bringing in merchandise before the holiday season even begins is a way for stores to allow their customers to start their holiday shopping early and save both money and time. Not only that, but it provides the participating stores some extra green.

The holiday creep has proven effective: A study by the National Retail Federation has depicted that about 40 percent of people begin holiday shopping before Halloween and are done before December, lowering the stress leading up to the holidays and further proving the popularity and usefulness of early holiday goods in stores.

But the holiday spirit doesn’t just begin early; it also lasts a while, and subsides typically through late January.

Around 80 percent of students at Branham celebrate Christmas, according to a survey, and above 90 percent of those keep their tree up through the first month of the new year. More than 80 percent of students at Branham also stay in the Christmas spirit by wearing holiday sweaters and not getting rid of their decorations after the holidays terminate.

“The tree doesn’t stay up for long, but I always eat Christmas cookies for weeks after Christmas because there’s so many leftovers,” said Junior Sabrina Jones.

For people whose favorite holidays include those of December’s, the long-lasting holiday spirit proves to be fun in keeping the holiday more than a one-day event.

There are people, however, who dislike the habits of beginning the holidays too early and ending them way too late; 20 percent of students stop doing holiday-oriented activities right after it’s over. Others simply stay “Christmassy” until the arrival of the new year:

“I stay in the spirit until about the first [of January],” said Sophomore Alyssa Phillips.