We’ve since been doing informal, totally anecdotal surveys among friends, colleagues, and even Advent snobs, and our suspicion is that we’re far from alone. Our change of mood seems to be more general. Lots of people are letting go of their resistance and letting at least a little bit of Christmas come to their homes early.
And honestly, I think it has to do with our politics and social-media culture. We’ve had four years of Donald Trump and hatred of Donald Trump, culminating in this impeachment. Surely if you use Facebook or some other social-media tool, you’ve worried about a friend or family member who seems to be losing their mind, one way or another, over politics. And the commercialism of Christmas seems almost like a relief from the commercialism of social media.
Yes, what a relief to get away from 24/7 Trump obsession and break out the the traditional seasonal arguments about the “War on Christmas” and whether or not “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a rape anthem. (Personally, I’m just sickened by the way we’re so eager to get to those Black Friday deals that we barely take time to lament having to put up with our racist uncles at Thanksgiving anymore). But I guess what I’m saying is, Christmas encroachment doesn’t really need to be explained. Businesses love selling things, consumers love buying things, and most people enjoy the holiday season anyway. Trump isn’t responsible for it any more than he’s responsible for the sales of writing style guides. The fact that so many people want to assign him credit or blame for everything under the sun is itself a symptom of the sickness. Hang your garlands as early as you want, but it won’t make any difference if your mind is still hostage to politics and social media. You’ll still keep poisoning everything you touch.