Store's move to ban Christmas goods until after Remembrance Day strikes chord
The decision by Manitoba retailer to ban Christmas-themed goods and décor until after November 11 as a demonstration of respect for Remembrance Day has ignited a debate in a number of Canadian communities.
A number of shelves at the Bigway in St-Pierre-Jolys that might normally display holiday merchandise at this time of year are bare, expect for a sign that reads "Lest We Forget."
"We're leaving that to be respectful for Remembrance Day," Bigway meat manager Allysha Burns told CTV News.
The idea to hold off on decorating the store came from cashier Aurise McFarlane, whose in-laws were both veterans. McFarlane is now collecting war stories from local families that will be displayed on the empty shelves.
"It will make (customers) stop and realize that these people fought for us, for our freedom," McFarlane said.
Some veterans are fully behind the idea of holding off until after November 11.
"It spoils Remembrance Day and everything that goes on just before it," Second World War veteran Cletus Henderson told CTV Ottawa.
But others say the freedom to celebrate in whichever manner you choose is exactly what veterans fought for.
"That's what Remembrance Day is all about," veteran Doc Brian told CTV Atlantic. "They went fighting … so you can do what you want to do."
The decision of when Christmas merchandise hit the shelves in major retail chains is typically made in corporate head offices. But that's not the case for smaller independent businesses.
"You wouldn't see a Christmas decoration in here before Remembrance Day," said Mary Cassetta, of Poised, an Ottawa clothing shop.
With a report from CTV’s Jill Macyshon, CTV Atlantic and CTV Ottawa