Saturday, November 12, 2011

Retailers push Christmas sales way too early

I understand the reason why the stores are pushing sales but I have had enough of the non-stop barrage of Christmas ads and crap that we get starting in late October. They push it into full gear as soon as the first week of November arrives, far too early for most.

November is the month we celebrate two important holidays - Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. The retail industry acts like those days don't exist and start the full-bore Christmas advertising and decorations in early November. It is appalling as we have had a mild Fall to begin with and it is something I and other would like to enjoy without the images of snowmen, Christmas Trees and Santa stalking us at every turn. The author of the enclosed column sums it up and points out the Nordstroms has decided to buck the trend. At least one retail organization has it's head screwed on straight.

To the others, you can keep your early sales and unneeded crappola. I feel the best way to show them that I don't appreciate the early rush is to not buy things until later and to buy less for this season. In the end, the holiday is not about things but the true " reason for the season".

It's way too early
By: Karen Rinehart / NC Independent Tribune
November 06, 2011

Why do I act shocked every time the stores pull out the Christmas merchandise before I've purchased Halloween candy (which has been sharing shelf space with the Back to School supplies since August)? Why do I let it gross me out year after year? I know it’s going to happen. But still....

I wandered into Lowes in desperate need of a new grill cover, only to find the entire “Outdoor Living” section replaced with inflatable Santas, dancing reindeer, singing squirrels and several animated copyrighted storybook characters waiting for festive families who have a front yard and an arsenal of heavy duty extension cords.

I did find a box of ornaments in the shape of grills and BBQ tongs. But still no cover for our grill—even in ornament form.

A week later, the Lowes sales flyer arrived announcing their, “New Expanded Assortment of Holiday Decorations!” Sure enough, on the top half of the front page, there were brightly lit artificial trees, live poinsettia plants and a wide variety of boxed lights. The bottom half of the front page was delightfully educational. Who knew “Holiday Decorations” include stainless steel gas grills (but still no cover), Keurig coffee makers, cordless power drill kits, flashlights, paint and socket wrench sets?

Then again I live in a wonderful town who holds their “Christmas Parade” 10 days prior to Thanksgiving and I seem to be the only resident who thinks that’s kinda early…and no I'm not bitter just because they've yet to ask me to be the Grand Marshall.

It's not uncommon around here to see a dozen or so 30-foot-tall inflatables in a single front yard and not a single gawking motorist has driven their car into the neighbor’s brick wall or giant bell-ringing red-hatted squirrel. I mean, that's a good thing, but I’d rather use the electricity it takes to keep those guys inflated to chill my chardonnay.

I was trolling the mall in search of the Perfect Office Party Dress (pray for me). There were Christmas decorations in every inch of the mall -- ceiling high ornately decorated spruce trees, bold banners announcing “Holiday Sales” and starched little kids lined up to see Santa. The mall corridors were lined with seasonal shops on wheels. The Hallmark store hid my favorite line of greeting cards in the stockroom to make way for singing, dancing and flashing Limited Edition ornaments and cards with red envelopes.

With each step I was accosted with the usual holiday retail hoopla until I stopped in front of the Nordstrom display window. The display consisted of, well, nothing, but a few tasteful cardboard boxes and simple lettering on the window:

“You might notice our store is kind of bare. We will not deck our halls until after Thanksgiving. Why? We prefer to celebrate one holiday at a time.”

God Bless you, Nordstrom. And do you happen to sell grill covers?

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