One year, maybe the early 2000's, we were driving past Macy's on State Street in Chicago (still Marshall Field's then) on a Sunday evening, Labor Day long weekend, and there on the southeast corner was the Christmas shop, up and running!
Two Chicago stations have an all-Christmas format and last year or the year before, one station fooled their rival into starting early in November after floating rumors that they would do so!
The Annoying Music Show at WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, has two lists (at least) of bad holiday music ... so bad that there is at least one CD collection on sale at Amazon! (Why do people do that to themselves?) For masochists, here's one place to start ...
What a surprise, the Annoying Music Show hasn't been picked up by OPB yet. (I don't visit opbmusic that often so if I'm wrong, my apologies!)
Here in Australia (being as we are the other side of the world from you lot and our seasons are the wrong way round) we have "Christmas in July" and if we are lucky the Blue Mountains - about 100Km from where I am - might have a bit of snow. Restaurants and hotels do Christmas packages and meals complete with crackers (we call them bonbons here) and turkey and christmas puddings and copious amounts of alcohol (which goes with any Australian celebration). But (thank heavens) we don't get xmas muzak in the stores.
We DO get that here now, but our local shops have been a bit late this year. They've only just put up the decorations now - usually it is the end of October here too. And my favourite Xmas song hate is "Winter Wonderland" which didn't even make your list.
Then of course, the day after boxing day you can usually find Easter hot cross buns for sale....
Brian I agree with you 100%, I love the holidays, and the man in the red suit, but in October??? let's enjoy all the seasons, especially autumn with change of colors, pumpkins, etc. Let's leave Christmas to start 6pm Thanksgiving day.