There’s a movement afoot to change the business practices of some retailers who put out their Christmas displays seemingly earlier and earlier each year.
A petition drive is being started by a Calgary businessman asking retailers to refrain from putting up their displays until after Remembrance Day. It is also being suggested that citizens boycott businesses who put their Christmas trees out, bedeck their aisles with Christmas merchandise or play carols ahead of Nov. 11. The rationale is that such displays are disrespectful and offensive to veterans.
While we see the gesture of respect these actions might display, there is another valid perspective. Of primary importance on Remembrance Day is conveying the message that soldiers fought and died so Canadians may continue to enjoy the freedoms of our society.
One of these freedoms is our free-enterprise economic system. And that means allowing retailers to operate their businesses based on whatever marketing strategy they see fit.
Maybe some people don’t agree with the constant creep of the holiday season, but we’d be reluctant to support such interference with the private business world.
Early Christmas sales do not mean disrespect towards veterans. Instead they speak to freedom of choice.