Christmas in October?

This annoying retail trend of Halloween in August and Christmas in September is, unfortunately, here to stay. This trend has come to be known as “holiday creep.” I’m not thrilled about this trend, but it is something we all must get used to from now on. It is something that cannot go unnoticed, yet it is still surprising every year how stores, such as Target and Wal-Mart, display their seasonal holiday items months in advance, sometimes all at once. In August, while some of us were still wearing sunblock, stores were already bringing out the Halloween costumes and decorations. These early promotions are not only focused on holidays, but other annual celebrations as well.

Starbucks announced an early release for the famous and favorable Pumpkin Spice Latte that so many wait for each year. It does not seem there were many complaints about that early gift of fall, but what about the other holiday creeps? I find it insulting to the holiday spirit and also overwhelming; while I am trying to plan for Halloween, I am being tempted by Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

Other early promotions this year included Labor Day sales and Back-to-School shopping which is usually in the late July to early August time frame; however, promotions started appearing in early July.

And what about the infamous Black Friday? Last year, promotions for Black Friday sales started as early as October. It seems the time is getting near, so we should start seeing those commercial deals popping up soon. Not to mention, retailers were twisting themselves into knots to try and come up with a witty name for the day before Black Friday: Black Friday Eve, Black Thursday. I am sorry, but I thought it was called Thanksgiving.

It seems a bit of an overload for workers as well to have to work on Thanksgiving, yet, last year, doors were lined with people ready for Thanksgiving sales on Thanksgiving night. The amount of money spent during Black Friday is in the billion-dollar range. If the expectations are not met, imagine the price slashing that followed the weekend.

The tendency to push the envelope for winter holidays has been growing for years. Last year, Target started running holiday ads in mid-October and putting up displays of snowmen and reindeer right next to the tombstones and haunted houses.

So, why do retailers do these early promotions each year? Are they just giving the customers what they want? Some people could see these promotions to be a growing tradition, and nothing says “holiday” like tradition. Retailers want to get ahead of the competition with the start of sales and by being one of the first promoters for sales; they are at the top of the mind for consumers.

As much as I complain about seeing Santa Clause displays while I am still enjoying the leaves changing, I am going to have to get used to this “holiday creep.” Maybe having Halloween and Christmas in the same aisle will benefit more than harm, so when I get my candy for trick-or-treating, I could stock up on my stocking stuffers in the same trip.



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