The act of putting up holiday decorations before Remembrance Day on November 11 often sparks a polarizing debate. Some say it’s disrespectful to veterans to distract us away from memorial events with Christmas decorations, ads or music; but others believe there is room for both.
Retailers like the Hudson’s Bay on Georgia Street already have their store decked out like it’s Christmas Eve – twinkling lights hang above the main entrances and lit trees and boughs decorate the inside. Not only did they have decorations up before Remembrance Day, but even before Halloween.
Some say that’s too soon.
— NadineJones (@NadineJones02) November 4, 2015
The Bay already has Christmas lights and music in the front window display. I am not ready. — Lisa (@negascum) November 2, 2015
I’m a huge Christmas lover, but even I think it’s too early for Christmas stuff. IT’S NOT TIME YET. DON’T RUIN IT.
— meg macabre (@honeysaliva) November 2, 2015
Included in that group is the Legion of BC and the Yukon, which serves 55,000 members including veterans and ex-service personnel. Part of the non-profit’s mission is to promote remembrance and in doing so they help organize the region’s offical Remembrance Day ceremonies and events. Inga Kruse, executive director of the Legion, believes it is important to recognize the day without other distractions.
“It’s a complicated issue because nobody means disrespect,” she told Vancity Buzz. “I would like people to think very hard about if they are going to run Christmas decorations or commercials before Remembrance Day because there are a lot of people that may be upset by that.”
She also points to other events, like annual Remembrance Day sport tournaments as problematic.
“Sport associations and teams plan a lot of tournaments on November 11, and we do a lot of outreach to say these kids should be at Remembrance Day ceremonies instead. We just ask politely and kindly that people respect the day, but it’s up to them who they decide to be in that moment.”
We asked our readers what they thought, and the answers are a mixed bag:
@VancityBuzz I personally don’t care but I can see why it would bother some people
— Adam Price (@adamprice04) November 4, 2015
@VancityBuzz Or before Halloween? Too early.
— James Craxton (@JamesCraxton) November 4, 2015
What do you think? Should retailers put Christmas on hold until after November 11?