Just to overstate the shared obvious conclusion, here.
Everyone (or the vast majority) in the developed and over-provisioned western world is better-off than they have ever been before, in the history of humanity.
Therefore (or somehow) they are all (to a close approximation) mentally unhappy, depressed, neurotic, unfocussed and ill-at-ease. Also, they are excessively-fed, too interconnected and permanently-stimulated.
As a consequence of this permanent low mental state, they idolise & idealise Christmas: the true season of encouraged consumer excess against the cold & dark (either the experiential reality or the existential version for Australasians).
It is a spiral of addiction, to commence the annual period earlier and earlier every year. To start the escape from the purgatory of paid work, either in whole or just in soul, sooner.
Forced societal responsibilities, being calendrically-replaced by a sanctioned gestalt retreat into groundhog-day of reimagined childhood.
We are not happy.
Either because we have too much, know too much, or because we either fear our own mortality or, can sense our own emerging personal & collective irrelevance.
Christmas is the eternal sugar-lump of proxy escapist existance. And it grows sneakily bigger every year: like a tinsel-topped tumor. But we love it (well....for now)
Have just come back from a short bus tour of the South Island of New Zealand. The gift shops there had Christmas decorations for sale along with the usual tourist things.
I actually bought a ball for the tree covered in birds and flowers which I thought was pretty.
Now that I've got through my bad spell, I've a highly-speculative theory to expound, re Chistmas, and the reaction by many people to verbal references to the season.
I've noticed a slightly-odd kind of middle-distance/autohypnotic pause that some individuals can be put into, when presented with one or more phrasal element of what I'll call 'The Xmas Catechism'. I don't mean that they turn into Manchurian Candidate suicide santas, but they can be deflected and sort-of....freeze-framed, by exposure to key words of power associated with the Xmas experience.
It's almost like a mini version of stage hypnotism, when the slick performer grabs the victim's head & back and whisspers "Sleeep!" into their ear...and they drop their heads to their chests, and dream of xmas morning.
Trigger words and phrases such as 'have you got your Xmas Tree up yet?' instantly freezing recipients into a disproportionate NLP middle-distance aww-reflex kawaii / moë waking slumber.
(nb I've not yet had my first coffee, so the above may have to be edited/deleted/turned into a doctoral thesis later)
Those big boxes of Roses/Coronation St etc are on display in the latter half of August, I dare say there's other Christmas stuff out then as well, it's just those are noticeable by their size, number and prominence. In previous years I've noticed Christmas shop displays up before Halloween and the lights are up though not switched on in October too.
Our town square Xmas lights (here in lower Brigadoon) have been ON for weeks, and apparently been left up all year. I fully-expect the pavement slabs to slide apart within days, and this year's ICBM prick-encrusted evergreen pinecone will rise majestically into place.
As an owner of a couple of retail gift stores, we do Christmas (trees, lights, decorations etc) in a big way. So much so that we have become a destination for many who travel for some hours to visit us not only to buy their trees & decorations, but also their gifts for the season.
Generally, we have it all on display mid October, however the date we've decided on this year in October 31.
While some complain that Christmas seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year, from our perspective, it's our prime time to make money and if you can manage to squeeze and extra week or two out of the season, then why not?
For November & December our usually monthly sales figures will increase by 400% to 500%. You have to make hay while the sun shines and while your customers are happy to spend. We're certainly happy to help them.
Urgh. I hate all this Christmas crap. With a passion. Whinging about it is the only thing that gets me through the 4 months of christmad. It's all so much useless, plastic, greedy, wasteful crap. I'm not religious in any way, but I can respect the religious and spiritual aspect of Christmastime, but the commercial, capitalist, buying crap you don't need or really want just to fulfill some faux, glittery notion of 'celebration' and family obligations, urgh.
If extinction rebellion and the greta-kids want to help the earth then petition to ban christmas!
There used to be .. maybe still is .. a brilliant travelling German Christmas market in Derby city centre every year that looked like Tim Burton had designed it as a film set .. cold German beer on draught and those long sausages cooked, beautiful Victorian looking glass and wooden decorations, traditional cakes, sweets and toys all sold from rustic wooden structures .. nothing plastic anywhere ..