Are downtown Christmas decorations up too soon? | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Are downtown Christmas decorations up too soon?

Are downtown Christmas decorations up too soon?
The Christmas decorations went up last week downtown, before Halloween and before Remembrance Day.

Christmas decorations were put on downtown street poles early last week, days before Halloween. We asked the Twitterverse what they thought of that decision, and the response was an overwhelming "TOO EARLY!" Most respondents said the Downtown Halifax Business Commission should've waited until after Remembrance Day, "out of respect for the veterans," and we jokingly pointed out that veterans are now more sacred than Jesus. On reflection, that joke isn't too far off the mark, except it's not so much Jesus the respondents are objecting to, but rather the commercialism of the season that has grown up around the once-holy season.

DHBC director Paul MacKinnon explains that a contractor is hired to put up the decorations, and that they need to be up in time for the annual Parade of Lights. Next year, he says, the contractor will be instructed to wait until after Halloween, but the time line is "too tight" to get the decorations up after Remembrance day and before the November 17 parade. This makes no sense to us: it didn't take six days to put them up before Halloween. And anyway, that explanation just begs the question: Why is the parade so early?

MacKinnon answers that question two ways. First, and most sensibly, the parade kicks off the shopping season, and secondly, because former DHBC director Kate Carmichael decreed it so. Still and all, we're blaming the sponsors of the parade, the Chronicle-Herald, just because we can.

More seriously, decoration-gate aside, we encourage people to do their Christmas shopping at locally owned businesses, and there are plenty of decent, unique and interesting such shops downtown.

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