Over the weekend I was walking through my fabric store, something I do at least once or twice a week. At the front of the store, all the college stuff was in a big pile on major clearance, its old display location filled with fall decorations. The aisle behind that had Halloween decorations, which…a little early, but fine. However, the aisle after that one?
CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS IN AUGUST! CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS A FULL FOUR MONTHS BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I mean, our local schools don’t even start until tomorrow, and Annabel doesn’t start until the following week. But Christmas decorations are out!
This makes me bonkers. Last year I went shopping for Halloween stuff and I remember employees were already consolidating the Halloween merchandise to make room for the Christmas stuff, but that was two days before Halloween. Two months before Halloween and Christmas stuff is already out! This is just insanity.
Of course, Annabel saw the Christmas stuff and was like, “OHMYGOSH CHRISSSSSSTMASSSSS! I can’t wait to see Santa and lights and open presents!” I said, “Slow your roll, Christmas is four months away.” I then ticked off all the things before then…school starting…Labor Day…Halloween…Thanksgiving….and she said, “But I see the Santa dolls now.” AAAAARGH!
I have some friends who would play Christmas music year-round if they could (and I’m pretty sure they do when they’re alone in their cars), and even they are thrown by the early Christmas stuff. My friend Catherine, Christmas Lover Extraordinaire, sent me a picture of her girls in front of a light-up snowman at Costco with the message “It’s August!” Even the Christmas fans are rebelling!
In our house we have this crazy thing called a calendar, and we actually follow it! We have Back to School stuff up now, Halloween decorations go up October 1st, Thanksgiving decorations go up November 1st. Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and Christmas spirit can come out the day after Thanksgiving. According to retailers, I am some kind of holiday freak show.
Why do we have to rush things? I know retailers are always trying to make a buck but it’s not like there aren’t a bunch of other extremely popular holidays coming up in the next few months. Why can’t I decorate for the fall without thinking, “Crap, if I don’t buy that waving Santa Claus now it will be sold out before I’m ready to buy it in two-and-a-half months?”
Having Christmas stuff out for a full third of the year sucks the joy out of not only Christmas, but all the other holidays before it. I refuse to follow this tyrannical retail calendar! I will celebrate holidays in the proper order and then, come November 28th, I will throw so much Christmas stuff up in my house it will look like Christmas exploded.
At this rate by the time my kids are teenagers, Christmas will be celebrated 365 days a year. Except in my house!
Becca Masters says:
On London there is a shop that is dedicated to Christmas. ALL YEAR round!
Jessie Weaver says:
I was at Hobby Lobby in JULY and the Christmas stuff was out. It’s truly insane. And yes, my 3-year-old had the same reaction.
I was going to say… this didn’t happen to be Hobby Lobby did it? They had a slew of Christmas stuff out in July. My friend was pretty happy actually because she needed red white and blue Christmas ornament balls to make her 4th of July wreath. But honestly. RIDICULOUS. It sucks the excitement out of Christmas.
Nope! There are no Hobby Lobby stores by me, this was a Joann Fabrics!
Craft stores put the Christmas stuff out early so that crafters have time to make their things and then sell them at the fall craft fairs.
Yeah, but this wasn’t craft stuff, it was already-made, “off the rack” so to speak Christmas decorations. Not stuff for crafters!
Ha ha! I was going to say the same thing. Dropped my son at college two weeks ago and it was in Hobby Lobby!!! Blah. Too early!!!
Mel G says:
Hear hear! I can go one better though…. Easter eggs and Hot Cross Buns at the supermarket on BOXING DAY!
I know Hobby Lobby puts their Christmas stuff out every July. They say it is for crafters who make Christmas decorations and sell them at fall craft shows. It still throws me when I see Christmas stuff next to 4th of July decorations!
Except these weren’t supplies! They were fully-formed decorations! And Costco has decorations out, too. Madness!
Amanda P says:
Actually I think some Hobby Lobbies had it up in May. We went this weekend and they had it full blown Christmas. I love Christmas too. But I couldn’t imagine having a little one again and having to explain for 4 months that NO its not Christmas yet.
My sister just sent me a video of my niece pushing a santa doll around in her baby stroller. I was like are you decorating early? She said no she picked it out in the store and had to have it. Crazy.
I felt the same way when I saw Autumn and Halloween decorations out BEFORE the 4th of July. I wasn’t ready for that and I am certainly NOT ready for Christmas! I get people who make items for craft fairs but couldn’t they have them special order with no shipping fees or something? This is ridiculous!
Totally! But this wasn’t even craft stuff, it was already-made dolls, wreaths, etc! I was so mad when the Autumn stuff came out. It’s STILL SUMMER!
I worked in a craft store for 7 years through high school and college, and there is at least method to their madness with the holidays. The logic is that it takes people time to get their ideas together and to actually get their crafts done in time for the holidays. So, with that I am a little less judgy about craft stores that do the crazy early holidays than I would be about say, Target or Walmart, or some other department or clothing store. Plus, as a bonus for those who celebrate and decorate at appropriate times, you will get the benefit of your holiday purchases most likely being on sale or on clearance.
I totally understand that, although they didn’t have any of the actual craft supplies out yet, just the already-made decorations. And Costco has stuff out already, it’s crazy!
I thought I was the only one who said ‘slow your roll’ I am so! Not ready for Christmas. I’ll just go right on pretending to not see all this insanity.
I work in a mall.Believe me it starts way too early!They have put up the decoractions the day before Halloween.Nice back drop for the trick-or-treating they offer for the kids!
My dad’s in retail, and a couple years ago, he told me something really interesting: most retailers actually don’t start making a profit for the year until the holiday season. Part of it is that it’s late in the year, I think, but part of it is that it’s the holiday season and it’s when people go all “big spender.” I don’t know whether starting Christmas stuff this early is an attempt to capitalize on that–spurring on people’s willingness to spend and trying to get that profit margin higher–or what, but yeah, it’s super ridiculous. The first (and last) time I ever set foot in a Hobby Lobby, it was August and they had several aisles of Christmas stuff already, and I decided never again. (Well, and just the general creepiness of our local HL, which, yeah.)
Whatever the case, it drives me bonkers, too. School starts early here (kids have been back for close to two weeks already) and back to school stuff went up in like late June, and now it’s almost all GONE, and I just feel like the seasons in retail do not reflect our earth seasons at all.
hahaha “the seasons in retail do not reflect our earth seasons at all” made me laugh but it’s totally TRUE!
This also makes me crazy!!! I can’t find anything that is in season during the season I am looking for it. I live in Canada and we have snow until the end of March and last year I couldn’t find mittens in January bc they were putting out bathing suits and spring things. It was brutal.
Yes, totally!! I once tried to find a tracksuit for my daughter in the middle of winter – she had gone through a growth spurt and her winter clothes were suddenly too small – and all they had in the store were summer clothes. The sales lady was really rude when I asked about winter clothes: “Nobody buys winter clothes this late in the season anymore”. What the… I am nobody then. And it might just be that nobody buys winter clothes because there are none on the racks anymore!!
15 years ago I taught and lived in China for 2 years. No decorations for any holidays! (my understanding is that has changed!) I missed this a whole lot! And now? I don’t mind it a bit! Like Randi said above? I like to think about the crafts or decorations I am doing and planning for.
I agree that it sucks the joy out of the holidays.
I hear that Costco here in Toronto had their Christmas stuff out in JULY! Ridiculous! This is part of the reason I stopped being a member. And I simply refuse to shop at Walmart due to their employee and competitive practices. So I’ve been rather oblivious to the retail Christmas season opener this year.
Our Hobby Lobby has either a) Had Christmas stuff up for several months already or b) Never taken it down. I know I saw it up at the beginning of July or a little sooner. I think it’s ridiculous. I’m no marketing expert, but I agree, let’s celebrate the other holidays and seasons fully. I think if the Christmas stuff were out shorter maybe people would get more excited? I’m probably wrong, but it seems that way to me.
Well, I can guarantee I personally would spend more money, because I’d be buying more Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving stuff if it was out in the stores when I was there shopping!
Christmas already? This is CRAZY. Just another reminder why Easter is my favorite holiday. Everything is so commercialized. We can’t even enjoy one holiday before the next is being advertised. I’m not sure which is the biggest sacrilege around Christmas, though, the early advertising or the physical aggression on Black Friday. Nothing says, “Happy Birthday, Jesus” like pummeling your fellow man/woman for an X Box.
My husband was born and raised in the Philippines, and I used to laugh when he and his sisters would say that when the months end in ‘BER, thats when the Christmas season starts for them, till I realized in September, they were not kidding, and neither was the Asian markets, with the beautiful decor and music going, after 26 years Im used to it, we still put up our tree Thanksgiving weekend.
we walked into Sams club and it was decked out and even we were shocked. pretty soon there wont be any taking it down, just like the neighbor who leaves their lights up all year long….. which I would if the HOA wouldnt have a heart attack LOL
We used to live in a tiny house, so the most we decorated was a table-top tree. Once we moved, my kids were super excited for every holiday because we would have space to decorate. My oldest wanted to decorate for Thanksgiving…except there were NO Thanksgiving decorations to be had after Halloween! I’m with you. I dread going into stores after school starts. I’ve seen the stuff come out earlier and earlier every year. We did home-made decorations out of stuff that we had at home. I totally put that Michaels out of business.
It’s a CRAFT store. Some people actually get started on Christmas crafts in the summer, especially those who make quite a bit to sell at the craft shows everyone loves to go to in November.
Now, if Target had it out, I would agree with you. But our Target at least still has back to school stuff out and school went back in 2 weeks ago…. although I do expect to see Halloween out pretty quickly.
Yes, and I would also agree with you, except that it wasn’t craft stuff. It was fully-assembled Christmas decorations, not the kinds of things you would buy at a craft show. And most people who buy stuff to resell aren’t shopping for their supplies at Joann, they would have to mark-up like whoa to make a profit! Plus, like I said, Costco has Christmas stuff out already!
Agree with this entire post. Last year, I may or may not have walked out of a CVS full of wreaths and Santas in September screaming “RESPECT THE TURKEY!”
I agree that over the years they are bringing the Xmas stuff out sooner and sooner.
They have stuff out in July because many, many places have “Christmas in July” sales and celebrations. I’m not really sure where it comes from, but I have noticed it happening. My little one is only 11 months so I’m sure it will be annoying when she is Annie’s age and I’m getting peppered with Christmas questions and asked when is Santa coming and all of that. But me personally? I LOVE it. I am a Christmas junkie. I love the decorations, the sights and sounds – all of it. I actually get giddy the first time I hear the Christmas music in a store during the season. I know I am in the minority but I don’t care.
Keywords: during the season! I think we all get a bit giddy, but Christmas in August? No, I don’t think it has anything at ALL to do with “Christmas in July” because it’s out from July all the way to December. And for all those that have mentioned craft shows- are there really THAT many people in the general population that really need 3 months to prep for craft shows that would justify HL having 8+ aisles of Christmas stuff in August?
OMG, I would love to celebrate Christmas 365 days a year. I’m with Connie, I love it. I’m also a total Christmas junkie.
Well, you mentioned you were in a crafts store. I don’t know why they need the decorations you showed, but if you’re planning to make Christmas decorations or costumes for the Christmas pageant, etc., it may well be necessary to start in August or even earlier. Last year I was in charge of “Nutcracker on Ice,” and we went to Joann Fabric in August to start planning costumes and the set. And of course were still scrambling two days before the show.
But I totally agree that fully-formed Santas that don’t require any work are unnecessary. I don’t get it either.
This was at a Joann Fabric, and they’ve had Christmas fabrics out since…gosh, they might ALWAYS have Christmas fabrics! I think if they’d had the ribbons and other craft supplies out I wouldn’t have had such a strong reaction, but so far it’s just the “off the rack” decorations!
I hate it too. If the Christmas season lasts four months, it’s not a fun celebration, it’s a tiresome slog. Maybe it would work better if we made Groundhog Day a ‘big holiday’ or something? Frankly, late January/early February could use more cheer, and that way the retailers could get another chance at our wallets instead of steamrolling right over late summer/early fall to get to Christmas.
I am sooooo with you! I have been seeing Halloween decorations for at least a month now, and I walked into Sam’s Club today and saw Christmas trees twinkling at me from the back of the store. It makes me grumpy! I am all about Christmas when it’s time (after Thanksgiving, of course), but until then, let’s enjoy the season we’re actually in. It was 100 degrees here last week, for heaven’s sake!
Yvette M says:
As a local small business retailer.. I hate this too. It makes it harder for the stores like mine who like to decorate according to the normal calendar. – September back to school, Oct – Halloween. Nut on the downside it makes me nervous that by the time I put out my holiday décor… folks would have already shopped at the larger craft stores, and stores like target, michaels, etc and purchased their items or by the time I put out my inventory – those stores who have had Halloween out since July – in Aug and Sept is 70% off… again forcing me to reduce prices or get stuck with lots of seasonal inventory that doesn’t sell because most customers have been seeing it for months and got sucked into the by now and save… anyway.. all this to say, if you can support your small and local craft and stationery stores when possible.
I would buy from you, Yvette!
My Costco barely has Halloween stuff up. Must be Seattleites are not big on Christmas…
That said, JoAnn’s and the like have always had a ridiculous schedule, which is why I go out of my way to shop local for most anything but groceries (yes, I am one of those freaks who has to have strawberries in January :P).
DITTO! Majorly. My kids brought up Halloween last week. After two days of school. I can’t deal. I won’t even discuss Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It’s gotten ridiculous.
I will admit that I just bought my kids winter coats at Costco. However…this is Colorado and it’s already acting like fall and it’s not even September. I figured at this rate it really could snow in 6 weeks. It did pain me to buy them though.
(oh and my Costco has Halloween costumes/candy and lights for Christmas although none of the rest of it yet.)
I’ve seen the same thing. It’s crazy! I don’t even like Christmas music at Christmas time, much less now. Bah humbug.
I used to feel this way, but less so these days. I would think it was crazy if people started decorating their houses this time of year, but merchandise being put out early? Meh. I actually think it’s nice to be able to spread out the amount of money I lay out for Christmas things over a few months rather than having to drop it all at once in November when I’ll be spending even more on gifts. I would feel differently if the stores themselves were decorated and playing holiday music.
I love it! Complete Christmas junkie here. As soon as January 1st hits, I’m already planning for Christmas.
Cathy K. says:
I am right there with you. I might pick up a gift to hide away if it’s the perfect thing for someone, but that’s about as much Christmas I can take in the summer!
funny, I was at a Joann’s in my hometown a few weeks ago and saw Christmas stuff- and I IMMEDIATELY thought of you. (is it weird to think of someone you’ve never met like that?!?!)
and also, I am one of those people that would listen to Christmas music year round. I started listening to my new Dave Barnes christmas album last October. (and kept it on my phone in case the need to listen struck. haha).
Leticia Madeiros says:
I couldn’t agree with you more and this is a huge pet peeve of mine! And people are always saying “Wow, it seems like the year has gone so fast!” Right- that’s what happens when the Christmas decorations are out in August. STOP THE INSANITY!!!!! Let’s live in the moment and be mindful of the beauty of the end of August. This time is special too.
Amen! Preach it. I so agree and plan decorations just as you put it.
“Slow your roll…” I just spit my wine!
Yes! Same here Hobby Lobby filled their aisles with Christmas stuff in July!! Sadly, I am probably their target audience. I am the type of person who would buy some items, forget where I stored them and then buy them again in November. I am not falling for their tactics…no way!
You can buy wrapping paper covered in Reindeer and inflatable snowmen in July, but try to find a rack of shorts that wasn’t picked over in April! Christmas is a little less magical when we are already tired of looking at Christmas decorations come Halloween.