How Coles Just Killed Christmas
I'm furious, disappointed and upset.
For the second time this month, Coles has announced plans to ruin what is one of the greatest holidays in Australia.
From today, mince pies, a festive staple, are being packed into supermarket shelves around the country, a full 19 weeks out from Christmas.
That's basically FIVE WHOLE MONTHS!
Why? Well, apparently "the team noticed that more than half of the pies sold last year were bought before December".
What has become of tradition?!
September is the month we are usually force-fed Christmas cheer. The days are getting warmer, Father's Day is behind us and K-Mart catalogues begin to fill with dozens of questionably decorated Christmas trees.
Many of us roll our eyes every time we walk into a shopping centre.
"It's only September and there are friggin' Christmas trees and decorations everywhere I look. It's bloody ridiculous," my mum says every year without fail.
Come November, the eye-rolling stops and people begin to actually think about the big day. It's the start of the long, food-filled, bank-draining, yet exciting lead up to the big day -- which, arguably, is better than the day itself.
It's in November that the gift ideas come rolling in, jobs are allocated, everybody remembers that Michael Buble exists and our supermarkets really begin to push the Christmas message.
Curtis Stone releases his latest festive recipes, Christmas hams are jammed into the refrigerator, cherries are finally on sale and... wait for it, wait for it... mince pies, held hostage for nine months of the year, cover every spare space in the supermarket.
That final aspect was the signal of celebration. The baked-goods equivalent of lighting the torch at the Olympic games opening ceremony. When mince pies make an appearance, Christmas is finally coming. Children can start writing to Santa, presents can be stockpiled and the Christmas tree can be taken out of the garage and dusted off.
Mince pies are not just mince pies, they are a symbol of the festive season. Selling them in August, when it's freezing cold, is a money-grabbing move that kicks off a process that will ultimately demystify a magical time of year.
Yep, they've killed Christmas. They might as well have announced that Mr and Mrs Claus have divorced. Bah Humbug.
The part that really irks me is that this isn't the only holiday the supermarket has offered to kill off. Less than two weeks ago, Coles announced it will sell the beloved hot cross bun all year round, discarding a centuries-long unwritten law.
We all know that hot cross buns mean Easter is coming. Anticipation builds excitement. When the seasonal treats finally become available, they bring people together.
The supermarket claims the controversial introduction was the result of "customer demand" but anybody who has worked in retail knows the customer is NOT always right, despite the opposite being the mantra.
If they're available all year they're no longer special. They become another staple that once meant something.
Fruit mince pies will be no different. They're not tasty, but they are Christmas, which in a weird way makes them delicious. They have one job -- to help create the magic of Christmas, regardless of their taste.
So, Coles, my message to you is to stop messing with tradition and leave the magic of holidays alone.