Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Holiday madness

It is said that in Australia everyone is in party mode from the second Tuesday in November (Melbourne Cup Day - traditional day of piss ups and stupid hats), and this lasts through Christmas until Australia Day on January 26th. Probably true as my calendar is always full between these months with family events, parties and public holidays. It's a good time of year - warm (sometimes stupidly hot), sunny and everyone is enjoying the beach, BBQs and daylight savings.

However, throughout the year I watch as our shopping centres and TV commercials are transformed to conform with the latest holiday or event. Whatever time of the year it is, there is something out there reminding you of an upcoming event that cash needs to be outlaid for. This year I was walking through the local supermarket and Christmas novelties were out in mid September. Sorry, you may not have caught that - mid September! These decorations will be up until the end of Christmas sales in January. That's a full FIVE MONTHS of Christmas merchandise staring at you in the face wherever you go. Bit much, hey?

On top of this, no sooner has the tinsel and trees been put away, the Easter eggs and hot cross buns start appearing on the shelves. It's almost like the Christian calendar was developed by the commercial industry. Luckily for department stores everywhere, whenever Christmas or Easter isn't the flavour of the month, Hallmark comes to the rescue with Valentine's Day, St Patricks Day, Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Back-to-school sales, etc.

I am not against shopping. In fact, I'm rather good at it. And we all know how commercialised holidays are. But September is way too early to be thinking about Christmas. Saturating the year with these holiday products just dilutes the holiday. What's the point of having these special once-a-year days if you're exposed to it for almost half the year? It's department stores trying to cash in on Christmas revenue for as long as they can. And it leaves a bad taste.

Anyone who buys a hot cross bun in February, or a Christmas baubles in October, is an idiot.

P.S. Don't even get me started on the so-called 'Christmas in July' rort.


  1. I remember always getting upset when I saw christmas stuff out before my birthday when I was a kid. It used to come out a week or 2 before my birthday (which is a month before christmas) now its pretty much always out. I do love christmas but I only start to get excited about it a fortnight before. And yes the commercial industry is making a billion on all of these religous holidays

  2. I know, Christmas was more exciting when it really was only once a year and the holiday stuff didn't come out until after Thanksgiving. I'm going to enjoy the fall season and Thanksgiving first, and I'll reserve my Christmas excitement for December only:)

    And now I have to ask, what are hot cross buns and Christmas baubles?

  3. Haha Amy! Sorry, I try and keep the Australian terms to a minimum, but I thought hot cross buns and Christmas baubles were almost universal! Maybe they are British . . . ?

    Hot cross buns are a spiced bun with sultanas marked with a cross on top to symbolise the crucification (creepy, hey?). They're normally eaten over Easter, but tend to show up in the bakeries/shops in February.

    A Christmas bauble is one of those decorated ball ornaments you put on Christmas trees.

  4. No no, I like the Australian terms! It helps me learn more about your part of the world and culture. So keep 'em coming and I'll keep asking:)

  5. to me no matter what month it is, it is NOT Christmas until I hear Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" Well....2 weekends ago I heard it. WAAAAAAY too early, but it was nice to hear. After that, I spent a short week in Florida a good counter-action of palmtrees to quell the impending slow and ice!

    I dont like HCBs.... never been a fan. Christmas baubles on the other hand...
    What are sultanas? Is that dried fruit?

  6. Proof Christmas trees shouldn't be put up before December:

    This helicopter crash happened while erecting a massive Christmas tree in Auckland, New Zealand. Luckily, no one was hurt