There was an unspoken agreement between advertisers and the American public for decades, it seemed: Don’t advertise Christmas before Thanksgiving. In turn, when the time comes, we’ll spend billions on gadgets and cardigans for our loved ones. It was only a handshake agreement — on one side, good taste exercised by the capitalists on Madison Avenue, and on the other, the invisible hand of the market that kept our county rolling in the proverbial dough.

There was an unspoken agreement between advertisers and the American public for decades, it seemed: Don’t advertise Christmas before Thanksgiving. In turn, when the time comes, we’ll spend billions on gadgets and cardigans for our loved ones. It was only a handshake agreement — on one side, good taste exercised by the capitalists on Madison Avenue, and on the other, the invisible hand of the market that kept our county rolling in the proverbial dough.


But then, I think sometime in the last 10 years, companies started crossing the virtual Rubicon — that fourth Thursday in November — and declaring war on Christmas couth. Now they’re polluting our pre-turkey peace with Bing Crosby carols and clip art mistletoe before fall even has a chance to set in.


Every year, it gets just a little bit worse. This year some retailers crept into the pre-Halloween season, and it has become simply offensive!


In fact, psychologists say it is offensive to us to feel manipulated by these companies, which is why we react so negatively to earlier-than-proper ads. They say our sense of manipulation combines with a bleeding-together of formerly distinct celebrations, making it seem like we don’t have the chance to savor each holiday independent of the others.


In past years, I’ve tried to fight back in my own vindictive little way: I pledge silently to myself to boycott whichever company owns the first Christmas ad I see each year. I figure the only way we the people, in order to form a more perfect holiday season, can stop Christmas creep is to hit the Christmas creeps where it hurts: their pocketbooks.


Obviously, my gesture is entirely impotent. My Christmas spending is a drop in the bucket to a big box store, let alone a national chain that makes advertising purchases in nine figures. Clearly, foisting the holidays upon us ever-earlier is working, otherwise why would they keep moving the starting line?


I suppose I should just break down and accept that which I cannot change. I’m just not sure how eggnog will taste with my hot dogs next Fourth of July.