Oh yes, I will remember

I keep losing my poppy – I think they’re designed that way so you have to keep putting a toonie or a loonie into the cadets’ tray to get another one this time of year. That’s OK by me. My grandfather, a veteran of World War II, is long since passed away but I still remember.

Besides that, right now soldiers are returning from Afghanistan in coffins, maimed, wounded and suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Over the past 65 years since WWII our soldiers have been returning from Rwanda, Cyprus, Somalia and countless other peacekeeping missions that resembled only in varying degrees the meaning of that term.

On my reading list, for instance, is General RomĂ©o Dallaire’s new book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. He says Canada is losing its moral soul internationally, evidenced by our non-action on child soldiers, our participation in failed “peace” keeping missions like Rwanda.

The issues of war and peace still need our attention; what better time of year to pause for a moment and think about the whole thing.

Except you won’t get any help on that score from Canada’s biggest retailers. According to them, Christmas started weeks ago. Remembrance Day? What’s that? Such a somber holiday is not very conducive to sales I guess. They don’t even have to close their doors for Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) any more. They suffer the young cadets and Legion volunteers to sell poppies outside their doors, but inside it’s all Christmas trees and holiday “music.” On the television it’s started: the heart-wrenching ads designed to give you that warm nostalgic feeling for Grandma’s home baked cookies and hot chocolate.

I say enough. To me every one of those ads, all the Christmas music (it’s not even Advent, if you’re so inclined to follow a Christian calendar) infusing the stores already – it’s an insult to the day we’re being asked to observe this coming Thursday.

I say enough by refusing to shop at stores where they’ve already started the unending  (until Boxing Day) vomit of Christmas marketing. Last night, horrified by a schmaltzy Canadian Tire ad, I Tweeted:

I’ve decided to #boycott stores that have #ChristmasAdsTooEarly starting with Canadian Tire.

That started a barrage of ReTweets and conversation, at least a dozen replies within a half hour of my post.

I’ve decided I’m on to something, and it’s more than #ChristmasTooEarly (my hasty hashtag). I think it’s a marketing fatigue – a feeling of hopelessly getting sucked into the Christmas Season Vortex of Expectations. I’m going to write about it in further posts, but for now I want to make this post about Remembrance Day and about starting my own boycott of the disrespectful retailers.

Meantime, I’m going with my daughter to the Remembrance Day parade here on Thursday. I’ll write about that. Then I’ll write more about my conflicted feelings around the holidays, and further on why I’m remembering to boycott the following shops for Christmas:

  • Canadian Tire
  • Zellers
  • La Senza
  • Leon’s

Any more that you’ve noticed? Any other thoughts on starting Christmas too early?

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6 thoughts on “Oh yes, I will remember

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  2. David

    Great article Tori.

    I have some friends who are as irked by this as you. I also include myself in that list. I mean Jesus H Murphy, the blinding ignorance of retailers desperately vying for our Christmas dollars, in marginalizing Remembrance Day is sickening. I’m sure that when you look at the individuals within these behemoths (Zellers et al.), you will find many ‘regular folks’ who consider Remembrance Day very important, but there is something that happens when people operate as large corporations, where humanity is…well…lost; somewhere in aisle 4 I suspect.

  3. Tori Post author

    Yes, you’re right David – the regular folks who shop there are not disrespecting veterans, they’re just doing their daily life thing. Truth be told, I rarely venture to these behemoth stores. Not that any of them would have missed my business anyway. But still, it’s the principle of the thing.

  4. Lorne Daniel

    Tori, I fully support this attempt to smack some sense into the heads of retail marketing types. Christmas is already a horridly over-commercialized event that seems to function only to generate consumption of unneeded products by the masses so that corporate bottom lines look good at year-end. Let’s at least leave the craziness until December.

    What about #xmas2earlyboycott as a hashtag?

  5. Tori Post author

    Hi Lorne:
    I like the hashtag – it’s a little shorter than mine. Let’s use it and see if we can get some pick-up on it!

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