All Hallow’s Eve

It is August. I am sure of that because I read it on the calendar. Though my first visit of the year to a Canadian grocery store had me wondering.  IMG_20180803_1717223
It had been ten months since my last visit, and there had been a few changes at my local store, more that is than just higher prices. The store has been renovated and there are a couple of aisles of alcohol now (though I didn’t bother to look, so I don’t know what types). The customer-scan checkouts have been upgraded. There is only one ATM machine where there were two, the banking kiosk has been replaced by a personal shopping service and the cashiers have new uniforms.None of that though explains why, on August 3, there was already a large display of Halloween candy. Did the “holiday” get moved in my absence?

The “back-to-school sales have barely started. Labour Day is a month away, and Canadian Thanksgiving is six weeks after that. Only then, traditionally, do people start thinking about Halloween. But I call already buy “Coffin Crisp” chocolate bars.IMG_20180803_1717550

If I bought Halloween candy now, it would be long gone by October 31. Maybe that’s the reasoning behind the early display. Halloween has become a big deal culturally and as a marketing event. Start early and sell more. So I guess I am not surprised, even if I do have concerns about the societal implications of a holiday devoted to evil. I understand that most people don’t see it that way, but there is that line about lipstick on a pig that seems appropriate. Halloween may appear to be harmless fun, but those aren’t its roots and there is a spiritual dimension that many people have chosen to ignore.

It isn’t that I am opposed to people planning early for a special season. As a music programmer, I appreciate it when musicians and record companies send me seasonal material early. A Christmas song sent to me in December is unlikely to receive airplay until the following year – I try to work ahead.

That said, I find the Christmas music has started arriving in my inbox earlier than ever before. Normally the influx starts around mid-September. This year the first song arrived in mid-July. I haven’t listened to it yet; I couldn’t face the thought of Christmas tunes during a record-breaking summer heat wave. I’ll wait until September.

For three full months my local grocer will have a Halloween display. There is only so much space dedicated to seasonal displays, so I guess that means Christmas won’t be featured as much this year.

I guess that shows where their priorities lie. Rather sad when you think about it.

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