I once read a short story where the punchline was that the "christmas season" started on June 1 and ended on Dec 25, and only a few people remembered that christmas was a single day at all. I wish I could find it. I think it was in a collection of speculative fiction stories. Another detail is that most people didn't know that christmas songs had origins; they were all assumed to be trademarked jingles of different brands who had modified them.

More details: The main characters are a male, who works in marketing, and a female from an old fashioned family. The male is the one who only recognizes the "modern" christmas season, while the female is confused by his society. The female's father is very upset at the male's lack of knowledge or respect for the holiday.

  • 7
    I think you may be mistaking fiction for reality.
    – Valorum
    Oct 10, 2014 at 18:43
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    @Richard every few years when I notice it's gotten worse, I renew my wish to find this story.
    – Sparr
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:11
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    My local cornershop put their first xmas stuff out on the 1st September. That's officially before the end of summer.
    – Valorum
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:13
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    Last year my neighbour had his decorations up on the first week of January. That's more than 11 months before Christmas!!!
    – Moogle
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:16
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    Ah, but Christmas isn't a single day. Problem is, December 25th is supposed to be the first day, not the last day.
    – Martha
    Oct 11, 2014 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


"Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" by Frederik Pohl. The old-fashioned family has been off being missionaries somewhere (different planet? deep in the jungle?) and is not used to the modern Christmas. The father is the missionary and is not happy that his daughter and the narrator are becoming involved romantically.

As people have remarked above, this story is becoming less fictional every year.

  • 1
    They were missionaries on Borneo.
    – user14111
    Oct 11, 2014 at 7:04

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