Eaton Centre leading the pack in race to be Grinch 2010

Eaton Centre leading the pack in race to be Grinch 2010

You can't ring my bell (Image: Stephen Hackett) 

Does this mark the beginning of the Annual War on Christmas? The CBC is reporting that two Toronto-area malls have asked the Salvation Army to stop ringing those damn bells while its volunteers collect donations from passersby. Apparently, the incessant ringing was driving some merchants a little batty:

Eaton Centre spokesman Brian O’Hoski points out the mall is an indoor environment with no overhead music or competing noises.

A few years back, he said, management asked the Salvation Army to stop ringing the bells because of noise complaints from some of the mall’s 230 tenants.

“In order to try and appease everybody and accommodate everybody, we’ve asked them not to ring the bells,” O’Hoski said.

So, wait: the merchants get to ban the ringing of the Sally Ann bells, but in December 2010 we still have to hear “Jingle Bell Rock” or “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (the worst song ever) every time we go shopping? This isn’t fair to anyone. Shoppers can at least walk away from the bells of the Salvation Army. But we can’t escape the International Standard Christmas Music rotation no matter where we go—including the LCBO when we try to soothe the pain.

Surely there’s room to make a deal here: the merchants stop polluting our ears with terrible Christmas music, and the Salvation Army keeps ringing its bells to raise money for a worthy cause. Everybody wins, except for Bob Geldof.

Salvation Army bells banned at Toronto malls [CBC News]