Is it just me or is the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier each year?
At the end of August last year, I marvelled that Costco, a local warehouse store, was already selling Christmas items when most people were gearing up for Labor Day barbeques. Wrapping paper, artificial trees, and pre-packaged gift sets were out for all to see and purchase. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but, given that I was a new Costco shopper, I figured that the brand had a different retail schedule than the stores I was used to.
Clearly, I was wrong.
Just some of what I’ve seen in the last few weeks.
As soon as the Halloween costumes and candy had been put on clearance November 1st, the retail elves worked hard to ensure that limited-edition ornaments, twinkle lights, and eggnog were stocked to thrust consumers into the
shoppingholiday season. I was at the mall last week and heard “Last Christmas” and “Feliz Navidad” playing as I strolled through the aisles.
Having been a former manager at a well-known retailer, I get that stores have to make a buck and rely on the fourth quarter of the year for the bulk of their annual sales, but come on. Setting up igloos and Santa’s workshop before we’ve even hit Turkey Day? I don’t think so. What is so wrong with experiencing one holiday at a time?
Last year, my mom and I kept saying that how it just didn’t “feel” like Christmas. We were well into December at this point, had our trees and lights up, and much of our gift-buying done, but something just felt off. I thought maybe it was because we spent a few days in Hawaii at the beginning of the month, but that wasn’t it either. The other day, I finally realized what it was. I had been burnt out.
Now Wonderlings, don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas! I spend hours–days even–scouring the internet for seasonal recipes, gift ideas, and festive songs to play on my iPod on repeat. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, when you start celebrating a holiday months before the actual date, you’re bound to get tired of it. You’re sure to be a little stressed by the parties and shopping and decorating and baking and… you get the picture.
I really applaud retailers like Nordstrom, who famously abstain from Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving. Though this tactic is a clear ploy to separate Nordstrom from other department stores, I respect the company for taking the time and having the respect to celebrate one holiday at a time. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Nordstrom was rewarded with even higher sales for their efforts.
There is nothing wrong with getting your Christmas shopping done early or watching your favorite holiday films in the middle of summer. That is a personal choice and one that each of us is entitled to make. Like the song says, sometimes “you need a little Christmas right this very minute.” I have been known to randomly burst into “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” when it’s nowhere near the holiday, so I get it. But being bombarded with garlands and tinsel the day after Halloween is a bit much for my tastes.
Come December though, it’s on.