It’s only the second week of November but the Christmas countdown is on – at least that’s how seems when you step into Masonville Mall. While the mall itself has yet to set up their Santa Claus photo booth or string any lights, many store fronts are in full force for the Christmas season.
But is it too soon? For a particular group of Londoners, it most definitely is.
John Curry served in the armed forces for 27 years, and is a part of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 317. He was set up at a table within the mall, promoting awareness about the poppy drive.
He thinks that decorating stores for Christmas overshadows the importance of Remembrance Day.
“It takes away from the poppies and the veterans, so I figure they can wait until after Remembrance Day.”
He says it’s the least some stores could do.
“A lot of the stores here, in the malls, do not want poppy boxes in their stores. It happens every year, we have the same problem. We bring the box, and they they say ‘No thanks’, and we ask why and they say it’s on religious grounds…. Even though we don’t like it, we have to respect it.”
His fellow veteran Richard Howard says that the problem of skipping over Remembrance Day reaches further than retail stores. This year, London’s Santa Clause Parade takes place on November 10th– a month and a half before Christmas, and one day before Remembrance Day.
“I don’t think they should hold the Santa Clause parade before Remembrance Day, because people gave up their lives so that people could have freedom. For just one day of the year, I think people should relax and reflect on this day, Remembrance Day.”
Curry expressed the same disappointment.
“I think they’re disrespecting us by doing it before Remembrance Day… my father and three uncles served in the second World War, they wouldn’t like it if they saw how it is today.”