Each year, there are those who blast the onslaught of Christmas decorations that adorn stores before Thanksgiving turkeys have even been carved. Others are only peeved when candy canes and Santa-shaped chocolates start working their way to the aisle next to candy corn and bags of fun-sized Snickers. But new analysis shows that the Christmas mindset starts even earlier than these fall holidays.
While many people are thinking about final back-to-school preparations in August, the research by Nathan Cunningham, who was selected by the U.K.'s Royal Statistical Society as a runner-up in a statistics writing competition, reveals that it's also the month people start thinking about Christmas.
"I gathered data on the volume of Web searches for a number of Christmas related terms," Cunningham wrote. "The data shows the relative frequency of searches for a particular term over time. The terms I chose were those primarily associated with Christmas such as ‘Christmas’, ‘presents’, ‘Christmas tree’, ‘Santa Claus’, along with a number of Christmas films and a selection of popular Christmas songs. While these terms may be searched for throughout the year (surely we all know someone who listens to Christmas music year round) the search activity for these terms will be vastly different once the festive season is in full swing."
Cunningham used a cluster algorithm to analyze the data and found how the Christmas season has been creeping far beyond Thanksgiving for years.
"From a seemingly late beginning of November 11 in 2007, we had begun turning our minds to thoughts of the festive season as early as August 25 in 2013," he wrote. "While this of course seems absurdly early, it should be borne in mind that the beginning of the Christmas period here merely reflects our thoughts turning towards Christmas. Not the beginning of the full-blown holiday season. Nevertheless, it would appear that the prevailing notion is correct — Christmas is indeed coming earlier every year."
Read Cunningham's full statistical analysis on the Royal Statistical Society's website.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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