I went to the mall last week. Just a quick trip. I was grabbing some lunch and making a return and I wanted to check out some new sweatsh… I don’t know why I’m trying to justify this to you. I can go to the mall if I want. I’m a grown-up. And it’s not even really the point. The point I was getting at is that, on my way in from the parking lot through the department store, I saw a bunch of Christmas decorations up. Trees, wreaths, ribbons, all of it. It was October 22.
Which, like, fine. It’s still weird to see holiday stuff up next to spooky decorations, but I can live with it. Physical stores are struggling in the time of online shopping and any little nudge to help your brain think about buying Christmas gifts probably helps them a bit. Plus, I went to the mall. I was asking for this, in a way. I don’t have to love it but I knew what I was signing up for.
What was tougher to swallow, however, was when I came home and flipped on a football game and saw… this.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with this commercial from a content standpoint. It’s got everything a nice little holiday commercial could want: cute kids, presents, a festive song performed by Christmas music icon Darlene Love, and yes, I do recommend adding “Marshmallow World” to your various Christmas playlists for whenever you get around to decorating. But also… I mean… come on, people.
I know the battle has been lost over Thanksgiving. That used to be a thing. People would get upset when Christmas stuff started rolling out before the turkey was in the oven. It’s kind of the whole point of Black Friday, really, the thing where Thanksgiving ends and we shift from one holiday to another for Day One of the Christmas shopping season. But that slide started years ago. Holiday stuff leaked into mid-November. And then early November. And we all kind of sat back and let it happen because the Thanksgiving dam had already broken.
But… come on.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with this commercial in practice. I’m glad Natasha Lyonne is out here cashing checks. I love Natasha Lyonne. The bigger problem is that I saw this little ad at halftime of a football game and the very next ad was for the spooky content a streaming service was offering for the upcoming Halloween weekend and it just felt… wrong. Kind of unsettling.
You can mix Christmas and horror if that’s what you’re going for from the jump. We have a slew of movies out there that prove that. Action, too, as Shane Black has made a career out of showing us. (Please watch The Nice Guys this holiday season.) But the shift in tone from fun snow-y vibes and sweaters to “you are going to die inside a pumpkin” did not feel right.
And that’s before we got to… this.
I DO NOT WANT TO SEE JOHN TRAVOLTA AS SANTA CLAUS IN OCTOBER
I DO NOT THINK I NEED A SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER-INSPIRED CHRISTMAS COMMERCIAL AT ALL, REALLY
NOT IN 2023
BUT ESPECIALLY NOT IN OCTOBER
WE HAVE TO TAKE A STAND AT SOME POINT
IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
I’M SORRY I’M YELLING ABOUT A COMMERCIAL IN ALL-CAPS AGAIN
I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M LIKE THIS
BUT COME ON
WHERE DOES IT END?
SANTA CLAUS DOING BACK-TO-SCHOOL ADS?
RUDOLPH SELLING FIREWORKS ON JULY 4TH?
DARLENE LOVE SONGS BLASTING AT THE BEACH ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND?
ACTUALLY, THAT LAST ONE IS OKAY
DARLENE LOVE RULES
WE HAVE TO DRAW A LINE
THAT’S THE DEAL
WE CAN LET YOU SLIDE THAT FAR
BUT OCTOBER IS TOO EARLY
LET US GET THROUGH HALLOWEEN
GIVE US THAT
GIVE US A LITTLE SPACE
LET US GET OUR HEADS ABOVE WATER FOR ONE SECOND, JOHN TRAVOLTA