Lest we forget; How one Manitoba store is putting Remembrance Day before Christmas

WATCH: Manitoba store is holding off on Christmas decorations

ST. PIERRE-JOLYS, Man. — A Manitoba store is pumping the brakes on Christmas and asking its customers to remember our veterans.

The Bigway Foods in St. Pierre-Jolys, Man. has decided to forego putting out its Christmas decorations and candies until after Remembrance Day.

“We think it’s important to remember our veterans who gave their lives,” said store manager Ginette Maynard.

Instead, there are two sets of empty shelves with signs reading “Lest we forget” with poppies attached to them.

lest we forget
“I think too often we move too quickly and we need to remember and honour those who fought for our freedom,” one shopper told Global News.

Many big box stores started putting out Christmas trees and decorations in August and now that Halloween is over, you would be hard pressed to find many large retailers that have yet to start putting out decorations.

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“It’s too early,” said one shopper. “If I am sweating from the heat (in August) do I really want to be thinking about Christmas?”

“It’s all just too much,” said another. “We have become too focused on consumerism and we need to take a step back and remember.”

Calgary financier Brett Wilson has been a vocal proponent for the movement over the past few years and each November continues to ask retailers to hold off until after Remembrance Day.

This story has people talking on social media and the conversation has taken off on our Facebook page with hundreds of people sharing their opinions. Here’s a few:

Gavin Tucker:

I don’t do my Christmas decorations until December first but I fail to see how it’s offensive to put up Christmas decorations before Remembrance Day. Just because someone decorates early doesn’t necessarily mean they have no respect for our veterans/armed forces.

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Tanya Kutcher:

I totally agree with this. I hope more stores start doing this. By the time it’s actually Christmas, I’m sick of it. There’s no reason they can’t wait until after Remembrance Day.

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Ruth Saunders:

I think what really bugs me is that retailers are pushing each season earlier and earlier. Like ” back to school” the second week of July. Halloween before Sept 1st and Christmas as early as Thanksgiving. Whether we wait until after Nov 11 to decorate for Christmas is personal. Taking sometime on that day to reflect the sacrifice of so many and if possible thank a veteran you know would go a long way. My thoughts on this topic.

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Debbie Clermont: 

I seriously fail to see how christmas decorations in stores and remembrance day have anything to do with each other!??! It doesnt mean that people arent aware of what remembrance day means!! Some of the stores in the small city I live in may have their christmas decorations out, but they also have containers of poppies for sale (by donation) right by the checkout counter!! It is a choice when christmas decorations are displayed, and everybody, including vets, should respect that decision!!

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Lisa Gingras:

The reason you can all celebrate Christmas and have your freedom is because of veterans and our current service members. Think about families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice and are not sitting with them at the Christmas dinner table so that you could enjoy yours. Plus six weeks of Christmas stuff is enough.

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Clay Wooffinden:

Here is the problem coming from someone who has worked a lot of retail. Those giant Christmas displays don’t just appear out of magic. It can take weeks to change a store over to Christmas. Everyone says it’s too early. Until YOU need it. Then it’s all complaints about why isn’t that stuff out why don’t you have more… Some people shop early. Decorating some people like to put it up in nice weather. That’s more likely in most parts of Canada in Nov then Dec. just because it’s up doesn’t mean you have to turn it on. Yes it’s about profit. That’s the point of a business last I checked. Never understood why people say that. Yes they are looking to make money. Do you work for free? Plus it’s the best time of year. I love that the Christmas season is 2 months long. Lastly, I attend the Remembrance Day ceremony every year with my kids. I am sure most of the people complaining about holiday things up early don’t attend.

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