Does it seem like the Christmas shopping season starts earlier every year? It’s a common observation, with some justification.
In London, the Christmas lights along Oxford Street, the capital’s most famous shopping street, will be switched on Nov. 7, or 48 days before the holiday. In the early 2000s, the ceremony to mark the unofficial start of the shopping season tended to take place closer to the start of December. Two years ago, organizers really pushed the festive envelope and switched on the lights on Nov. 1.
Quartz has fed the latest data into its highly sophisticated Christmas Creep Calculator™, a finely tuned mathematical model that uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence (and Microsoft Excel) to project the path of the Christmas shopping season creeping ever earlier in the calendar.
Christmas creep is particularly pronounced in Britain, which lacks a traditional starting point for the holiday season, like advent markets in continental Europe or Thanksgiving in the US.
Based on current trends, our algorithms suggest that, eventually, crass commercialism will overcome seasonal sense, and around 2120 the Christmas shopping season will start in July. Joy to the world!