The interminable United States holiday season, long considered a key indicator that the climate is doing just fine, thank you very much, may be ending earlier than we think. “The data shows that the Christmas season in the U.S. is actually ending earlier, and that the rate of change has accelerated over at least the past ten years,” said Harvard climatologist Dr. Noelle Baker-Taylor. Her team’s findings will be published in the next issue of Nature.
While those findings are likely to be controversial, they are based on solid science, says Baker-Taylor. “If you look at previous studies, they tended to rely on measurements of the entire holiday season, which show that the absolute length of the season has remained stable. But our analysis shows that the Christmas season now begins much earlier, too.” Baker-Taylor says that another possible factor is that Thanksgiving, which has traditionally demarcated the “no-earlier-than” date of the Christmas season, may have have deteriorated significantly. “There’s evidence that Thanksgiving’s influence has been steadily eroding since the 1980s, and in some areas it may no longer be enough to delay the start of Christmas.” Asked if Thanksgiving could be in danger of collapsing, Baker-Taylor said, “It’s a concern, definitely. That’s one of the things we need to look at.”
“I’m not a scientist, but my opinion is it’s bullshit,” said Oregon tree farmer Kenny Bupkis. “I mean, according to science, a bumblebee can’t even fly. So they have their opinions, but I have mine.” But Kenny’s sister and business partner Doris Bupkis wasn’t so sure. “I go downtown and I see Valentine’s day stuff in the windows in early January. So yeah, maybe. I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. After I left home, Mom used to keep her tree up till Easter some years. She just called me up the other day and asked me to haul her tree for her so she could put up her Presidents’ Day decorations. So maybe, I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.”
U.S. President Donald Trump disputed the study in an angry early-morning tweet: “So-called scientists must stop their War on Christmas! FACT: Even Darwin said global warming wasn’t real! SAD!”