One of the things about me that seems contradictory to a lot of outsiders is the fact that I’m an atheist who really loves the Christmas holidays. I’ve explained before in this blog that it has nothing to do with the religious aspects and everything to do with the secular and materialistic aspects of the season, but it still confounds some folks because I’m into them in a big way—the first year I was in my apartment my Christmas tree stayed up all year long simply because I wanted it to stay up. The first hints of a chill in the air come September/October and I’m ready to bust out the Christmas music and it’s all I can do to keep from engaging in the very pagan ritual of decorating the tree until Thanksgiving at least arrives (as is often required by my wife).
That is to say I’m all about getting a jump on the holidays, but even I have my limits unlike the folks at Harrods of London who have already opened up their “Christmas World” display this week:
Launching its 15,000 sq ft ‘Christmas World’, Harrods reminded customers they have only 139 shopping days left before December 25.
A Father Christmas clad in a red safari suit and accompanied by a zebra were drafted in to mark the event.
Bing Crosby’s ‘Let It Snow’ played in the background of the department store’s Christmas area.
Harrods said foreign tourists were the main reason it had launched Christmas World in August every year for the last decade.
Note that I’m not really ranting about this—if there’s enough demand that the store can earn some bucks getting started early then I can’t blame them for it. And, in all honesty, if I were there and happened to stumble upon said display my wife would sigh and look at me in that mildly amused way that she does when my eyes light up like a five year old kid’s at the sight of something I consider truly wondrous and amazing, which I would undoubtedly find such a display to be, and she’d tell me to run off and drool over everything so long as I didn’t take up the whole afternoon in doing so.
It goes without saying that two of my favorite places in Michigan to visit are the Aldridge’s Always Christmas store in Canterbury Village near where I used to live in Orion Township and Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frakenmuth, Michigan. I don’t even mind the fact that in recent years Bronner’s has taken to emphasizing the fact that “Christ” is the first part of the holiday’s name by putting it in all caps (e.g. CHRISTmas Wonderland). I’m so pathetic that just writing this entry is making me rather giddy.
Anyway it’s not like Harrods is alone as the article goes on to report that rival London store Selfridges is opening their Christmas display a full two weeks early today to compete for the dollars of people just like me who happen to live in England or are visiting at the moment. Locally I’m sure if I were to wander into the Home and Garden section of Meijers I’d find they have the first few Christmas related products on the shelves as they tend to put out the artsy-craftsy stuff about now because folks want to buy those ahead of time so they have a couple of months to assemble them before the holidays arrive. I do sympathize with the folks who think this is all a bit too early, though. The folks at Harrods address that as well:
“There are cynics out there who say it is too early. If the whole store was decked out then yes, it would be too early, but that won’t be until the beginning of November,” he said. “Just this one small area will be up and running before then.”
So if you’re in London and the site of Christmas crap this early in the year will make you see red then I’d suggest avoiding Harrods of London for the time being.