Every year Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier. Merchandisers now refer to Christmas as the ‘golden quarter’ – meaning October through December. Some shoppers report seeing Christmas objects on sale as early as August in some shops. Why does Christmas seem to creep closer every year?

This phenomenon is usually associated with the breakdown of earlier holidays such as Halloween. Moving the festive season forward, it allows merchants to take advantage of events like Black Friday, enticing customers into glorious deals to make Christmas just that little bit easier. It is thought that the idea began in the USA; Stores like Sam’s Club and Lowe’s started a policy in the 2000s of setting out Christmas trees and decorations as early as October 1st. It is thought that after Halloween and Thanksgiving, this allowed them to bridge the gap between the holidays and ensure profit for the whole season. In 2002, the Christmas creep accelerated with retailers such as Walmart and Target beginning their Christmas sales in October as well. Since the 2010’s this list of retailers has only increased.

Whether you want to call it genius or madness, it isn’t only limited to the northern hemisphere. In Australia, shops have been known to have Christmas good available as early as September. They active advertise for Halloween and Christmas at the same time.

Many think the media also has a part to play. Radio broadcasting might also be to blame. Prior to the 21st century, the familiar jingles of Christmas songs weren’t heard until early December. However, in subsequent years Christmas music has shifted further and further forward and now it can be heard all the way from late September to the end of December.

The Christmas creep seems to claw its way deeper into our year as time passes by. It might be annoying for shoppers but when the odd few stray into the aisles of Christmas gifts it only provides more profit for merchants and retailers alike.