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Christmas Creep

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The Peanuts gang witness Christmas in April. Poor Easter...

"Christmas is so big, it's starting to eat other holidays. Watch out, Halloween!"

A phenomenon which can be found any place where Christmas is celebrated but is most extremely prevalent in North America, Christmas Creep refers to the tendency of Christmas-related merchandise — along with seasonal decorations, music, television programming, and so forth — to start appearing earlier and earlier each year.

Prior to The '80s, the Christmas retail season in the U.S. didn't start until after Thanksgiving Day (although Christmas catalogs for JCPenney, Sears, etc. have been mailed as early as August since at least The '70s). The Friday after Thanksgiving became the default day to start the Christmas shopping season, and stores responded with big sales on that day; it has since come to be known as Black Friday. The earliest known reference to this name dates to 1961 in Philadelphia, because of the huge traffic jams and crowds of shoppers. The phrase took on a darker meaning in The '90s, following several incidents where shoppers and store staff were injured or even killed in stampedes of people rushing through store doors trying to get the best deals.


Since the Turn of the Millennium, it's more or less universal that Christmas merchandise will take over as soon as the Halloween stuff is moved to clearance (though many grocery stores try to reserve at least some display space for Thanksgiving). And even when Halloween has the main "seasonal" aisles, some Christmas stuff will turn up by mid-October. Christmas Creep isn't just confined to the retail world, either: many radio stations that switch to an "all Christmas Songs, all the time" format now do so as early as November 1, for instance, and it's not unusual for homeowners to get a similarly early start on putting up their own lights and decorations. (Though in cold-weather climates, this may stem more from a desire to finish outdoor decorating ahead of the harshest winter weather. Many will set up and test the lights beforehand, but save an "official" turn-on time to Thanksgiving weekend.)


Moreover, this phenomenon has begun to affect all holidays that have opportunity for commercialization. It is no longer uncommon to see paraphernalia for an upcoming holiday appearing in stores as soon as (if not before) the previous holiday is over. Thus, Valentine's Day decorations have begun to appear in stores even before Christmas is over, with St. Patrick's Day material popping up by the beginning of February, Passover and Easter things at almost the same time,note , summer items as soon as Easter and Passover are passed, back-to-school promos as early as July,note  and Halloween items in July/August.

Recent surveys have revealed that Christmas Creep isn't all bad: Some people often report feeling excited for Christmas as early as March, and in the UK, many people flock to their television screens to watch the premiere of the next big-budget Christmas Advert produced by John Lewisnote  at the start of November each year.

See also Everyone Is Christian at Christmas, Do They Know Its Christmastime, and Santa Clausmas.

If Christmas Creep appears in media, it's generally Played for Laughs, poking fun at the earliness itself or mercilessly mocking the commercialism involved.

Has nothing to do with The Krampus, or the guy at the office Christmas party (you know, the one with the lampshade on his head) who has too much eggnog and forgets the concepts of "personal space" and "hands to yourself." That would be a Christmastime creep, since it's something a creep would do at Christmas time.


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    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts joked about this a lot. The Halloween-Thanksgiving period was the usual victim of the creep.
    • In a late 1950s strip, Charlie Brown complained to Patty about not being able to buy a mask for Halloween, due to the store staff being busy putting up Christmas decorations.
    • Another comic had Sally go to see the Mall Santa in February. Charlie Brown says she's either a month too late or eleven months too early. Sally then says she'll be the first in line.
    • In the TV special It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, an entire scene takes place in a Christmas store display when the gang go to buy eggs.
    • Another special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, has the characters complain about retailers stocking Christmas items before Thanksgiving.
    • A later TV special, Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, has Linus make a remark about Christmas decorations being put up earlier every year after Snoopy and Woodstock's bird flock crash into a tree while sledding.
  • In one Shoe comic strip published and taking place on July 1, Professor Cosmo "celebrates" July 1 as the day when his Christmas decorations are no longer up too late, but too early. (Which is to say, he leaves them up all year round because he's too lazy to take them down.)
  • The Blondie strip for September 14, 2013. As Dagwood and Blondie are walking through a mall, Dagwood complains about the stores playing Christmas music in September.
  • One FoxTrot comic that ran in November was about Andy complaining about how the decorations came out earlier every year, and stores begin pushing holiday merchandise. The punchline was that she was complaining about Valentine's Day decorations, despite it not even being December yet. Apparently, Christmas sales ran their course back in September.
  • Drabble. In the strip for Monday September 16, 2013, Mr. Drabble (the title character's father) finds his wife singing Christmas songs and setting out Christmas decorations in September.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin deliberately tries to spread this in one strip, singing "Silver Bells" at the top of his lungs in mid-September. His parents respond by forcing him outside. Calvin shoots back, "Not thinking about it won't make it go away!"
    • In a strip from the day after Halloween: Calvin and Hobbes wake up sick from all the candy they ate. Calvin remarks how the day after a holiday is depressing and suggests going into town to look at Christmas decorations.
  • Cathy is outraged that she can't buy a swimsuit at a department store in summer as they're moving in the fall merchandise. She demands to see the manager, who shows up in a Santa suit.
  • Retail, being about, well, retail, has a lot of examples:
    • A strip in October 2015 featured Cooper looking at a Halloween display on one side of the store and a Christmas display on the other, and commenting that Tim Burton was ahead of his time. (As mentioned below, it was this sort of thing that actually gave him the idea.)
    • Christmas stuff being put out in September is a recurring plot. Every year the customers are surprised by that. One year Cooper finally yelled at them that Christmas stuff came out so early because management thought they wanted it, prompting the customers to wonder what happened to his Christmas spirit.
    • One year Cooper and Donnie find Christmas ornaments in their May. Donnie begs for it to be a mistake.
    • Cooper exploits this trope once by using leftover Christmas wreaths to pretend to build a display in the middle of the summer just to see customers' heads explode.
    • Not only does Stuart actively encourage this trope, he tried to make Easter a second Christmas shopping season since Christmas is when Grumbel's is at its most profitable. He's also given out Christmas flyers and candy canes on Halloween (prompting the kids to egg his house) and openly disdains holidays that aren't retailer-friendly.
      "What good is a holiday if you can't make any serious money from it?"
    • Helping Stuart (and not helping the others) is that corporate encourages pushing the Christmas Creep. The managers meeting that happens in June always discusses Christmas, they've encouraged store managers to play Christmas music starting October 1 (which Stuart made mandatory in his district) and sent a sign reminding people that it's time to think about Christmas in August (which promptly got torn up by customers). Marla, for her part, resists pushing the Christmas Creep as much as she can, even saying one year she flat out refuses to play Christmas music in October unless corporate mandates it. (Cooper quips that that mandate probably isn't too far off.)
    • While Christmas is the most obvious, it's not like the other holidays aren't exempt. One year on February 9 a Valentine's display changed over to an Easter display in the amount of time it took a customer to look at her phone. Another year Donnie noted that the Easter stuff had been out since the day after Christmas.
    • Cooper claims that the Christmas Creep occurred because a boy wished to a genie that Christmas be four months long (because his father was the CEO of a department store chain) and then threw the lamp in a volcano so no one could undo it.
    • It should be noted that all of this is to the detriment of Thanksgiving, which may as well not exist to Grumbel's management. (Stuart once even said the concept of Thanksgiving was obsolete and these days Thanksgiving only served to kick off Christmas season.) One year, when a customer asked if Grumbel's had anything for Thanksgiving, Val's only answer was 'a six hour shift'. Another year they finally let one Thanksgiving decoration be sold in their stores...and that was only because the turkey was wearing a Santa suit.
  • Garfield has been devoting more and more time in December to Christmas-themed strips, crossing into November for the first time in 2002.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The film The Heart of Christmas is Based on a True Story of Dax Locke, a 2-year-old Littlest Cancer Patient whose hometown gave him one last Christmas when it became clear that he would not live till then.
  • A variant takes place in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory where Wonka shows the room where his geese lay chocolate eggs. Remember, the tour takes place on October 1st...
    Wonka: They're laying overtime right now for Easter.
    Mike: But Easter's over!
    Wonka: Shh! (covers Mike's mouth) They don't know that. I'm trying to get ahead for next year.
  • An easily-missed line in Mallrats has Brodie stating that the Easter Bunny setup has apparently been at the mall since "two days after Christmas".

  • This was the inspiration for Tim Burton's narrative poem that was later adapted into his animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton composed the poem after seeing Christmas decorations being put up in a store window display while the Halloween decorations were being taken down.
  • In one sci-fi story, Christmas Creep had gotten so out of control that laws were passed to make it illegal to even so much as hum Christmas carols except on the day itself. On penalty of death.
  • Ray Bradbury used a concept of making holidays illegal in his short story "The Exiles". By 2120, "Halloween was outlawed and Christmas was banned!" Ambrose Bierce appears in the story as a character, and he makes the following comment just moments before expiring:
    "A regrettable situation...for the Yuletide merchants who, towards the last there, as I recall, were beginning to put up holly and sing Noel the day before Halloween. With any luck at all this year they might have started on Labor Day!"
  • A story by the Polish satirist Krzysztof Jaroszynski has an American visit Poland and ask why the Christmas decorations still haven't been taken down by February. The protagonist answers that these are decorations for this year's upcoming Christmas.
  • In Christmas Spirit's first story "Bah, Humbug!", Nate Jerome is an overworked commercial writer and advertising executive who has come to hate Christmas.
  • In The Dresden Files Kringle is one of the fae but only takes up the mantle of Santa during Christmas season. He tells Harry in Cold Days that he hates Christmas Creep and he has drawn the line at Halloween, refusing to become Santa before then.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dogs Days Greg sees a newspaper ad for a sale on back-to-school supplies on July 5th—exactly two months before school starts, and decides that whoever put that ad in the paper that early must really not like children.
  • Hannah Swensen:
    • In Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (the first novel of the series), Hannah and her assistant Lisa Herman visit the Tri-County Mall, where Hannah is surprised to find Christmas decorations out in October. Lisa tells her they put them out right after Labor Day.
    • In Strawberry Shortcake Murder, Hannah's mother Delores has a version of this - she states that she starts her Christmas shopping for the next year on the 26th of December.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied on an early episode of the Nickelodeon show Roundhouse, where immediately after a Troperiffic horror movie parody entitled Hellraiser Freddy The Thirteenth Halloween Chainsaw Massacre On Elm Street 12 during a Halloween-themed segment, Natalie comes in advertising a store's pre-Christmas sale, leading to this exchange.
    Micki: Christmas sale? It's not even Thanksgiving yet!
    Natalie: Well, time flies when you've got to mark up tons of expensive merchandise that has nothing to do with the holiday spirit!
  • In the Corner Gas episode "No Time Like the Presents", Emma is shown to be a victim of this when she comes home and declares that she has all of her Christmas shopping done.
    Oscar: Christmas?! It's July, woman!
    Emma: Well, I wanted to get a jump on it! Remember last year?
    [Flashback to last year]
    Emma: It's the 24th and I haven't started shopping!
    Oscar: It's the 24th of September, woman!
    Emma: Yeah, but I wanted to get a jump on it! Remember last year?
    [Flashback to the year before that]
    Emma: It's Christmas Day and I haven't bought a thing!
    Brent: [confused] We just opened our gifts.
    Emma: No, I mean for next year.
    Oscar: At least wait until September, woman!
  • The premiere episode of S Club 7's series Miami 7 has Jon starting a new job in an office. He's told he should enter his name to win the Christmas prize. Jon is baffled, pointing out that it's only March.

  • Satirized in Straight No Chaser's song "The Christmas Can-Can", mixing Christmas carols and the famous can-can melody. "Heard this same song 20 times!/And it's only Halloween!"..."Christmas season!/Starting sooner every year!/It's October!/Stores with plastic Christmas trees!... But mainly shopping! shopping! shopping! shopping! shopping! shopping!"
  • "Suddenly It's Christmas" by Loudon Wainwright III.
    There's got to be a build-up
    To the day that Christ was born
    The halls are decked with pumpkins
    And the ears of Indian corn
    Dragging through the falling leaves
    In a one-horse open sleigh
    Suddenly it's Christmas
    Seven weeks before the day
  • "The Way-Too-Early Christmas Song" by Paul and Storm.
    It's not December
    It's barely even November
    Outside it's still too warm for snow to fall
    Halloween was yesterday
    And winter's still a ways away
    But try to tell that to the folks down at the mall....
  • "Santa Stole Thanksgiving" by Jimmy Buffett.
    Santa stole Thanksgiving for Christmas
    It was such a happy holiday
    No more laid-back relaxation
    It's Black Friday degradation
    Seems Santa sold Thanksgiving to the mall
  • English singer Paddy Roberts' Anti-Christmas Song "Merry Christmas You Suckers" (1962) includes a verse relating to this:
    Merry Christmas, you suckers, it's perfectly clear
    That you fall for it all a bit sooner each year
    If it goes on like this, you will find pretty soon
    You're singing "White Christmas" as early as June
  • In "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I'll Sue Ya", the Long List of Frivolous Lawsuits mentioned by the narrator includes one against the department store chain Neiman Marcus "because they put up their Christmas decorations way outta season".
  • "Christmas in July" by Joe Scruggs takes this Up to Eleven, with the singer observing how Christmas decorations are up practically all year in the mall, from August until July, resulting in them having Santa Claus "in Bermuda shorts, standing by the sleigh/reminding folks the holidays were six short months away." In the end, the singer remarks that cooler heads ultimately prevailed, and they'll take down the decorations by Saint Patrick's Day.
  • This trope is the central theme of Saltatio Mortis Willkommen in der Weihnachtszeit note , besides general consumerism.
  • The song "October Night" by Todd Chappelle complains about stores putting up Christmas decorations too early:
    October night, we should be carving pumpkins
    Instead the stores have their Christmas displays

    New Media 
  • CD-ROM of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary has a section called "Cultural Guide" and it has a short informative article about Christmas in Britain. One sentence really says it all: "Shops are decorated for Christmas from September and in the weeks before Christmas people do their Christmas shopping."
  • Gregg Easterbrook, NFL columnist, used to have a feature in his weekly Tuesday Morning Quarterback column called "Christmas Creep", where he would list real-life examples of this trope that he found or were submitted by his readers. It became SO common, however, that he abandoned it in favor of the Unified Field Theory of Creep, where he lists all non-Christmas versions of this.
  • Cracked:
  • ClickHole features an article about how stores had already been rolling out their Christmas displays for the next year!
  • In The Hidden Almanac, one of the recurring advertisers is Suzy's Seasonal Assassins, whose services include discouraging this behavior with extreme prejudice.

  • Many commercial radio stations in the U.S. will play nothing but Christmas Songs throughout November and December, a phenomenon that (as with a lot of the rest of Christmas Creep) really took off in earnest around the Turn of the Millennium. Prior to this, stations that played Christmas music would generally do so only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or at the most, sporadically starting after Thanksgiving and eventually with more added the week of Christmas, when holiday-themed songs begin falling into the regular rotation. When it does come to Dec. 24-25, usually those stations that hold out on playing a 24-hour Christmas song playlist will switch, with either pre-recorded or satellite-fed programming played, as well as some songs selected from the playlist that's pre-recorded. Some stations still use live talent on Christmas Day, but more often than not the voices will be voice-tracked, recorded a few days earlier, or simply the music will be played without interruption. Then in the mid-to-late 1990s or so, stations in larger markets began an "all-Christmas" format shortly after Thanksgiving, with adult contemporary stations the most likely to change their format; since then, nearly every market has at least one "all Christmas" station. Sometimes, the format switch will take place as early as late October (a full two months before the holiday). This has become much more prevalent since 2001, when the aftermath of the September 11th attacks led to listeners wanting to hear Lighter and Softer programming.
    • NYC adult contemporary station WLTW ("Lite FM") used to follow this example, merely mixing Christmas music in with their regular songs, only playing Christmas music 24/7 for the week before. By 2004, this changed to 24-hour Christmas music from Thanksgiving throughout December and the following year, it began the week before. Since 2006, this has been modified slightly to start on the preceding Saturday, although for 2019, they begun on November 15. They switched on November 13 for 2020.
    • WEZW-FM, a soft AC station serving the Atlantic City-Cape May area in New Jersey, has become notorious for going all-Christmas well before Halloween, typically making the switch around the middle of October.
    • WSFF-FM, a variety hits radio station in Roanoke, Virginia, refuses to play Christmas music in November or early December, citing this trope as a reason. They even state "Has everyone forgotten about Thanksgiving?"
    • One station parodied this trope by playing Christmas songs on Labor Day (first Monday in September) just to claim they got there first. Then they returned to their regular programming the next day and didn't play any more Christmas songs until November.
    • Former NYC adult contemporary station WPLJ only played Christmas music mixed in with their regular music and only broadcast Christmas music on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
    • In July 2020, some radio stations, including WBLI in New York and KEZ in Arizona, ran a 2-day Christmas in July event.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Lewis Black's third Comedy Central special has a whole section dedicated to this trope's phenomenon, specifically how it annoys the hell out of him (though that's really to be expected from someone who specializes in Rant Comedy).
    When I was a kid, Halloween was Halloween and Santa wasn't poking his ass into it!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the In Nomine scenario "A Very Nybbas Christmas", this is a plot by the Demon Prince of Media, to completely separate what people think of as "Christmas" from anything to do with goodwill to all men or the Son of God.

  • The "We Need a Little Christmas" number from the 1966 musical Mame has the title character deliberately applying this, since she's at a low point in her life (having gotten wiped out in the 1929 stock market crash) and needs Christmas to cheer her up. Her nephew protests, "But, Auntie Mame, it's one week past Thanksgiving Day now!", implying that it's far too early to be starting the Christmas season. Since around the Turn of the Millennium that lyric is often changed to "one week from (or 'til) Thanksgiving Day", as even most critics of Christmas Creep would not consider any time post-Thanksgiving to be early by modern-day standards.

    Video Games 
  • In the Christmas Episode of The Darkside Detective, McQueen complains that Dooley has been playing Christmas music in the squad car since Halloween, and Dooley says that he got a late start this year.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game makes fun of the trope in the Times Square level. Upon hearing of the new Boson Dart mode, Winston says, "It's like Christmas came early!" Ray overhears this on his radio and balks, "Earlier than what? Santa came to my house dressed as Dracula last year!"
  • In the mall area of System Shock 2, Xerxes reminds shoppers over the loudspeakers that there are only 163 days until Christmas (In other words, it was July).

    Web Animation 
  • In Holidaze (2019), Jingle is introduced magically turning the neighborhood into a Christmas Wonderland on Halloween night, implying that he represents the sudden shift between holidays.

  • Full Frontal Nerdity: After complaining about the Christmas creep, the boys decide to deal with it by combining Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas into a single holiday called Thanksmasoween. Its traditions promise to be interesting, as one of the characters carves the turkey with a chainsaw while wearing a hockey mask and Santa hat.
  • Given an interesting spin in Arthur, King of Time and Space: the others expect Lancelot to hate the practice, but he explains that he might deplore the commercialism, but maintaining the Christmas spirit all year is something he's in favour of.
  • In Scalie Schoolie, Grizzelda wins a Halloween costume contest by dressing up as the Ghost of Christmas Future, "here to remind you all that it's just a few short weeks away!"
    Grizzelda: Come on! Where's your holiday spirit?
    Geraldine: It won't be around for another two months.
  • Discussed in this Scandinavia and the World comic, where Norway expresses joy that the American holiday Halloween is catching on in Scandinavia, as this means the Christmas creep is delayed for one more month.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal posits that retail stores follow the "actual" Christmas schedule based around Santa's arrival, rather than the "official" calendar-posted December 25th. "Actual" Christmas comes slightly earlier every year because Santa orbits the sun slightly faster than Earth, and thus arrives earlier every year. The end result: Christmas items appear in stores earlier and earlier, until they are eventually never sold during the calendar holiday season.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in this ClickHole article, where the author assumes the decorations for Christmas 2014 are for Christmas 2015.
  • In Airlocked, after deadland reverts to the Mason's Harbour setting, Mai (who's from Japan in 1999 and unfamiliar with the level of Christmas creep found in 2006 America) is confused by seeing Christmas decorations in Costco in August. Deciding that they must have lost track of time after being alone in the town so long, she decides to drag home an artificial tree and gets heat stroke.
  • In one episode of You Know Whats Bullshit the Bullshit-man complains about the overabundance of Christmas decorations, not just the fact that Christmas decorations begin appearing in stores as early as October, but also that people still have decorations on their houses in mid-January.
  • Ghost of True Capitalist Radio once made the mistake of revealing that he hated Christmas as he was the one who had to buy everyone presents. In response his trolls began playing Christmas songs to him in September.
    Ghost: Can we get through Halloween for Christ's sake?!

    Western Animation 
  • Discussed in A Charlie Brown Christmas. The message of the special is that the overt consumption around Christmas and how much earlier it seems to show up every year are both bad things, since the True Meaning of Christmas gets lost by all of the commercialization. This special is what also gave us the name for Aluminum Christmas Trees as a symbol of over-consumption and companies working to profit from Christmas early. Partly thanks to A Charlie Brown Christmas mocking them as kitschy items, aluminum Christmas trees were off the shelves a few years later.
  • It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown turns this trope Up to Eleven by showing Christmas sales beginning in April.
  • The Simpsons brings this up quite often.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XIV", a Halloween special that was pre-empted and aired instead on November 1st. In the opening scene, Kang and Kodos complain about the episode airing a day late, because at this point nobody gives a crap about Halloween anymore and have moved on to Christmas. The two of them already have their own Christmas decorations up.
    • "Treehouse of Horror IV" ended with the characters in the very end suddenly diverted from the story when snow starts falling from nowhere and the Simpsons were humming a Christmas carol.
    • "Treehouse of Horror XIX" (which again aired after Halloween on November 2, 2008) ends with Tom Turkey defeating the Grand Pumpkin only to wind up attacking the humans when he finds out they eat turkeys on Thanksgiving. The last line of the episode has Marge wishing the viewers a Happy Holiday season.
  • In King of the Hill, Bill becomes a Mall Santa, and keeps his suit and Christmas decorations at his house well after Christmas, even up until March. Dale remarks by saying "They start Christmas earlier and earlier each year!" Becomes harsher in hindsight when it's revealed that he hadn't taken the Christmas tree down after his wife left him years before the show began - even after the last needle had fallen off.
  • An episode of Garfield and Friends has Garfield putting up Christmas decorations during a July heat wave as part of an attempt to "think cool". When Jon's neighbours see he has his decorations up early, they decide to put theirs up early too, which leads to everyone in town thinking it's already Christmas and celebrating the holiday early before they remember it's still July. Even Santa Claus is fooled.
  • In the South Park episode "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", Cartman is looking forward to Christmas on the day before Halloween, to the point of circling what he wants in a shopping catalogue and singing Christmas carols while he and his friends set up their Zany Scheme to scare the fifth graders. Eventually, a delivery man shows up with a package for his mother, but Cartman assumes it's his Christmas present and takes a peek. It turns out to be an Antonio Banderas love doll, but Cartman is ecstatic over it.
  • In the Rugrats, the babies think it's Christmas already when the house has a Christmas tree and Grandpa dressed as Santa in August. It's actually the adults setting up their Christmas card picture. This is because the adults are so slow at getting their cards done (they normally do this in October, but Grandpa says the cards never get finished until February).
  • On an episode of The Angry Beavers, Norb and Dag find themselves launched into a large conifer, which is then all lit up for Christmas. It's then revealed that it's April.
  • Bob's Burgers: Parodied in "Christmas in the Car". Linda has a Christmas tree up while the kids are still eating their leftover Halloween candy. It's all dried out by Thanksgiving, so she buys another one - which is all dried out by Christmas Eve, so they drive out to buy yet another one.
  • In a Halloween episode of The Real Ghostbusters, Ray looks around at some lights and says, "Wow, they're putting out the Christmas lights earlier and earlier every year... Wait a minute! It's not Christmas!" And he was right; the lights were the result of ghostly phenomena, but the irony is that society has marched on since The '80s, and today anyone making that remark would be only noticing something absurd in the sense of silly, not noticing the kind of anomaly that would make you stop and think "This can't be true, no one would put out Christmas lights as early as Halloween."
  • Teen Titans Go!: The episode "Halloween vs Christmas" is about the Titans battling against Santa Claus, who has decided to take over Halloween. It is the only holiday with Hoopla to rival Christmas, so if he takes it, he will rule all the calendar's holidays.
  • The "other holiday" variant of this was spoofed in The Loud House episode "11 Louds A Leapin'". Near the end of the episode, once the family has opened up all their Christmas presents, Rita decides that it's time to start decorating for Valentine's Day and starts to take down all the Christmas decorations.

    Real Life 
  • In Europe, Christmas candy (especially marzipan, ginger bread or Christmas cookies and cakes) are usually available in stores from September or October. Most European countries don't celebrate Halloween the way Americans do and its counterpart is more low-key, and Thanksgiving is an American holiday (Canada has Thanksgiving on Columbus Day). The Christmas craze in Europe can escalate.
  • The United Kingdom is one of the few major Western countries that somehow managed to avoid this trope, mainly because the Christmas season officially begins in October, the beginning of the "Christmas Quarter" (the last quarter of the year). However, it's still not unlikely to see Christmas and winter candies in your local grocery as early as September. In the New Tens, commercials have started popping up as soon as Halloween is over.
  • In the mid-2000s, the creep was getting fairly bad in Britain, until a spate of vandalism incidents made the news. Allegedly, some people were wrecking stores for advertising Christmas items too early, with some of these stores putting out Christmas items as early as June. Stores took the hint, and in The New '10s, the Christmas hype slid back to coming after Halloween.
  • In Canada, the creeping is slightly restrained after Halloween until after November 11, Remembrance Day, the commemoration of the nation's war dead and veterans, which obviously has no opportunity for commercialization. After that, the whole seasonal blitz goes full bore. Some cities will still put up their Christmas decorations before November 11th while the weather is still warmer.
  • The Philippines has proudly laid claim to having "the longest Christmas season in the world", unofficially starting September 1st and lasting as far as mid-January, in the process merging strictly Christmas festivities with those for the All Saints'/Souls' days (1-2 November) and New Year's. Malls and commercial establishments all over the country often make it company policy to put up Christmas decorations, offer holiday sales and discounts, and play—often quite specifically—the Christmas carols of a famous local balladeer named José Mari Chan, the moment September 1st rolls around. In the (more traditional, more devoutly Catholic) provinces, families continue to observe the entire Christmas season beginning at least with Advent, attend traditional Advent/Christmas masses held at midnight and at 4 a.m., put up colourful star-shaped lanterns called parols, and plan holiday shopping, cooking, events and vacations as early as November if not earlier.
  • M&M's used to have candies in "autumn" colors, with items like leaves or perhaps a (Thanksgiving) turkey on the shell instead of the M. Then around Black Friday, the red and green candies for Xmas appeared. Then, some years ago, the autumn colors were replaced with orange and black candies for Halloween; they now go straight into the Xmas colors on November 1. Some of the Christmas candy varieties have white ones as well.
  • Office holiday parties are usually held from the beginning of November. This is done partly for practical reasons; if the party is being held too close to Christmas, people won't have time to attend because they need to make various holiday preparations. It also provides for more inclusive, nonsectarian festivities in years when Hanukkah comes early.
  • There are Christmas "saving plan"-style mail-order businesses that encourage people on a tight budget to either put a bit aside each month for Christmas or buy presents throughout the year. Given the way they work, these guys start shipping their Christmas catalogues in early January.
  • Tickets for various productions of The Nutcracker and other Christmas shows tend to go on sale by September, if not earlier. As well, the advertisements, such as e-mail reminders to regular patrons of these events, begin during the summer. Auditions and rehearsals for Christmas-themed shows range from June to September.
  • In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Thanksgiving proclamation moved the holiday a week earlier than its (then) traditional "last Thursday of November" date in order to provide more time for Christmas shopping to stimulate the sluggish Depression economy. In 1940 and 1941, Thanksgiving occurred on the third and fourth Thursdays. Critics called the ensuing confusion "Franksgiving", which became a bone of political contention, with states and individual families choosing the holiday date according to their political predilections. Many of the college and high school football teams, whose season usually ended on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, were confused by the scheduling, who found that their schedule which included Thanksgiving Day games was thrown out of sync by the proclamation. An act of Congress finally established the "fourth Thursday of November" (which may or may not be the last Thursday) as the date for the holiday from 1942 onwards.
  • Beginning in 2007, ABC Family and its successor, Freeform, would extend their annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming into a secondary itenerary. "Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas" woul kick off during the third week in November, with a lighter version of the original block. In 2018, Freeform renamed "Countdown..." as "Kickoff to Christmas", expanding it so that it now envelops the whole of November.
  • Despite a perennial Christmas Story marathon being a Christmas Eve/Day institution on TBS and now TNT, the former snuck airings of the movie earlier in December 2019.
  • Hallmark announces their Christmas keepsake ornaments near the end of April, and places them on pre-order around this time as well. They become available at Hallmark stores in July.
  • Most theme parks around the world such as the Disney Theme Parks and Universal Studios start their Christmas festivities at the start of November and begin putting up Christmas decorations towards the end of October.
  • Due to the high amount of demand the event generates, Walt Disney World begins Mickey's Not-So Scary Halloween Party in August.
  • Buzz for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade generally starts to bubble during the summer, when character balloons are first announced. For marching bands, the creeping begins a year and a half before the parade they are selected to appear in.
  • The Canadian town of St George, Ontario put on a Christmas parade in late October of 2015 for a Littlest Cancer Patient who was not expected to live to December. The boy died on December 6 of that year.
  • The originally-Anglican observance of Stir-up Sunday (the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent, occurring some time from 20th - 26th November, and the day on which a family should begin preparing Christmas pudding), stemmed from an entry in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer that was intended to "stir up" parishioners with festive enthusiasm a whole week prior to the actual start of the season of Advent. Advent itself partly functions as a weeks-long period of preparation for the liturgical Christmastide that officially begins on Christmas Day. It's thus possible to make a case that wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas Creep is a small element of religious tradition.
  • The Dutch Sinterklaas tradition is celebrated on the 5th of December (St Nicholas Day). A national pastime is complaining about pepernotennote  being stocked earlier each year, usually around the start of August. April 2016 is of note because a retailer was selling orange-colored pepernoten in April (!), though this was actually done to coincide with Koningsdag, not Sinterklaas.
  • Trade shows and holiday gift fairs are fairly common in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The inaugural one for the Seattle area? The Tacoma Dome Holiday and Gift show, which takes place in mid-to-late October.
  • In the United States, not only does Christmas music often start playing in mid to late October, but many stores will start putting away Halloween merchandise to make room for Christmas stock over a week before Halloween. Other stores, namely ones with a garden center or outdoor center can start selling decorations as early as September!
    • In 2019 and 2020 Costco had some Christmas decorations out September 4th. Note that in 2020 this was 3 days BEFORE Labor Day, 51 days before Halloween, and 77 days before Thanksgiving.
    • For many home improvement stores with large garden centers, this also applies after Christmas when they already begin selling landscaping and gardening equipment before the Christmas season has even finished.
  • Many radio stations in the US change format to all Christmas-music as early as November 1st but they also change back very quickly after Christmas, often going back to their regular format right after midnight on December 26th.
  • This happens for multiple holidays in Australia.
    • Much like Europe, Australia lacks any major holidays in the September to November periodnote , and as such Christmas goods, including perishable food items that have no hope of lasting until Christmas, start showing up in late September.
    • In a case of "Easter Creep", major Australian supermarket chains have been censured and in some locations even fined for putting hot cross buns on sale during the first week of January and in some cases even Boxing Day (December 26), even in years where Easter occurs late.
  • The Hallmark Channel's "Countdown To Christmas" has gone from 1-2 movies per night throughout December to 24/7 from late October, starting earlier each year—on October 29 in 2016, October 27 in 2017, the 26th in 2018, 25th in 2019, and the 23rd in 2020. The 2018 marathon also finished on January 6th, several days later than previous programming blocks which had previously ended on January 1st. The 2019 and 2020 blocks not only followed suit, the channel capped it off by airing Christmas movies every weekend throughout the year (the former was to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the marathon), and also included mini-marathons in March and April to lift viewers' spirits during the coronavirus lockdowns. The network's Christmas in July marathon is itself being subjected to this phenomenon—in 2017, it included movies specifically filmed for this event (indicated by their 2017 release date) in addition to rerunning past Christmas movies, and despite being explicitly titled "Christmas in July", the 2018, 2019, and 2020 marathons started during the last few days of June.
  • The Up Channel joined the fray by starting their block on November 1st, and Lifetime topped them both by starting on October 18 of 2019.
  • The Christmas ornament division of Hallmark typically releases their ornaments in stores in July.
  • The US has experienced a smaller-scale reflection of Christmas Creep with Black Friday Creep. As the phenomenon cemented itself, retailers began staging Black Friday "door buster" sales, opening earlier and earlier in the morning on the Friday after Thanksgiving with time-limited offers designed to coax shoppers in before dawn. Many have now shifted to kicking off their sales on Thanksgiving Day - in the process requiring employees to cut short their own holiday in order to staff the stores for eager shoppers.
  • Hobby Lobby starts selling their Christmas stuff between late May to early June.
  • In the U.S. many dollar stores and discount stores begin selling stuff for certain holidays well before their season with some stores stocking items for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and even Easter first thing after Christmas and then pulling out fall decorations and Halloween items around the same time as summer items and school supplies.


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