If you thought America was the only place where Christmas displays popped up in July, you can take some comfort that England is also suffering from holiday fatigue. But there's one corner of London that has proudly held out against decking the halls too soon: The West End. Until this year. The Independent reports that Disney has struck a deal with London's Mayor Boris Johnson to turn on Oxford and Regent's Christmas lights on November 3, nine days earlier than they're normally on, in order to coincide with London's world premiere of A Christmas Carol.

While some early Christmas lights aren't the end of the world, it's a rather sad state of affairs. Not only is it frightening to see a venerable city become a marketing tool, but the West End lights are famous, and always pick a unique decorating scheme from the rest of the city. For the first time, they'll not only follow the City of London's switch-on schedule, but they'll share the city's theme. Of course, that city wide theme is A Christmas Carol, and Disney has spent a million pounds in order to deck the halls of Oxford and Regent with Scrooge related decorations. From Leicester Square and beyond, Mayor Johnson promises lights and Dickensian events will provide "one of the biggest festive celebrations the capital has ever seen."

Disney's plans are causing quite a commotion in England, and many Londoners are dismayed to see the West End tradition fall prey to such overwhelming marketing. Dickens' scholars are even weighing in as to what the author himself would think, and the surprising consensus is that he would heartily approve of anything that inspired gift giving and commerce.

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categories Movies, Cinematical