10 Holiday Controversies

Christmas Creep Gets Worse Every Year
People wait for Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade in 2014 under a display of giant ornaments at the store. People grumble that Christmas starts earlier each year — a dispute at least 100 years old. Zoran Milich /Getty Images

More than a few people cluck their tongues when Christmas tunes begin blaring from the radio in mid-November, or when ornaments begin dotting store shelves the minute the Halloween décor is removed. It's Christmas creep, they shout, railing against retailers and others who seem to push the season on us a little sooner every year.

Interestingly, the complaint about ever-earlier Christmas sales has been occurring in America since the 19th century. And with good reason. A Nov. 15, 1885, ad warned readers to start their Christmas shopping now! One that ran in 1912 gave the same advice in October [source: Collins].

Christmas creep is a long-standing complaint in England, too. In 2016, Christmas lights began twinkling along Oxford Street, London's most famous shopping venue, on Nov. 5. According to the Quartz Christmas Creep Calculator, this means that by 2020, Oxford Street's holiday lights will blink on in October [source: Karaian].

Many Americans insist the start of the Christmas season is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. So that's the first time Christmas items should appear in stores and Yuletide songs should be played on the radio. It's only right to celebrate one holiday at a time, they say. Others love Christmas so much, they're more than ready to hear "Jingle Bells" well before Turkey Day, and to start buying and wrapping gifts in fall.