Christmas Needs to Back Off


Thanksgiving is a week away and I don’t know what I’m doing for it yet. It’s no big deal: we’ll either go over to my husband’s aunt’s house or have her over to ours. She’s local so either way it’s pretty low stress. I just need to know how much grocery shopping I need to do. I’m not stressed about it because I’ve got time to prepare in either case.

Which is why I find it so fucking annoying that I have to be stressed about Christmas instead.

You now when it’s appropriate to begin the countdown to Christmas? At the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when Santa rolls on by. Anything before that is unseemly. The appearance of Christmas gear at my local Target on Halloween day is flat out obscene. Yeah, you read that right. I was in Target Halloween morning and their staff was hauling down the pumpkins and raising the mistletoe without even a deep breath to mark the segue. And Thanksgiving? Fuggedaboutit. Thanksgiving does not, apparently, have enough retail markup.

I was grossed out.

Then I freaked because I need tree ornaments in a big way. We’ve always had a table-top sized artificial tree but now that we’re in a real house, we’re going to get a big tree. That means we need to stock up on lights, colored balls, a star for the top and who knows what all else. I haven’t thought about it because Christmas is over a month away and I don’t even know if I need to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving yet. I should have plenty of time to get tree decorations. Except that I’m pretty sure I don’t. I’m pretty sure that the slavering retail hordes are at Target right this second buying up all the cute ornaments so that when December rolls around and normal people like me start planning for Christmas, all that will be left will be Buzz Lightyear commemorative plastic globes and strings of lights in weird colors like neon green and yellow. Which meansĀ  if I want to have a non-tacky Christmas tree, I need to toss my principles aside and start shopping now.

Do you have any idea how much that pisses me off?

I don’t want to let Target and it’s brethren determine my holiday schedule. I don’t want to have to bend to the ever-accelerating holiday retail calendar that would have me stocking up on valentines on New Year’s Eve and Easter Peeps on February 15. I don’t like celebrating a holiday for a full month (or more). It’s gauche. And exhausting.

But. But I don’t want my Christmas tree to reflect a “end of season clearance” theme either. So I’m going to capitulate and hit the stores next weekend to buy ornaments. But I won’t like it. And I will kick the first person to cue up any Christmas carol sung by the Chipmunks. Just sayin’.

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15 comments for “Christmas Needs to Back Off

  1. amy
    November 18, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Once upon a time I worked for a BIG RETAILER. The night before Thanksgiving, we would make the store up for holiday then, when we opened on black friday everyone would be greeted with the “Holiday” decor. I loved that then, now it starts way to early and it sucks everything fun out of the season. Especially when you don’t celebrate Christmas and that is all you see.
    Retailers need to take it down several notches and make it about family instead.
    BTW I still work for a BIG RETAILER only a different one.

  2. November 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

    HA! Loved this…I don’t think you could have said it any better. I TOTALLY feel your pain. It get’s worse and worse every year doesn’t it? It’s all so wrong in every way.

  3. Rebecca
    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I have one for you. I went into Dollar Tree for school supplies (mid-August) and they already had Christmas stuff out.

    I completely agree with you. Whatever happened to celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends THEN starting to worry about Christmas.

    At the rate things are going they might as well leave it up year round because it just keeps getting earlier and earlier each year.

    Do they not know what Christmas is about? Not who can make more money, buy more gifts, go deepest in debt but the birth of Jesus (if you so believe) and a time for family and friends to celebrate together, not necessarily with gifts but with love.

    I know these stores have calendars somewhere. What can we do to get them to look at them and realize October (and most definitely August) is just ridiculous.

    Thanks for letting me vent about one of my biggest pet peeves. HAPPY THANKSGIVING. (Merry Christmas will come AFTER the turkey is gone.)

  4. Jenny
    November 18, 2010 at 10:19 am

    It’s like Christmas gets drunk on Halloween and vomits all over the place, then no one has time to clean it up until after new years. I hate hate hate it. On an entirely different note, I highly recommend Ikea for holiday decorations – cheaper and nicer then Target, although some years the Ikea people think they are all cool and trendsetting and use a bunch of weird colors on their holiday stuff. Last year it was all white, red, and black – a little tooooo Valentine-y for me.

  5. JD
    November 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I hear ya, sister. I am ready to dash off an angry email to the damn radio station in rhode island that started playing Christmas music 24/7 over a week ago. You read that right. Over a week ago!!! It is NOT beginning to look a lot like Christmas, thank you very much. At least it’s not in my house, where we still have my kid’s monkey birthday party decorations up. From October.

  6. November 18, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Yes, please, stop rushing us through our lives. Just stop.

  7. November 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

    About twenty years ago, I was a “visual merchandiser.” The first year I started, our deadline to put out Christmas decor was the day before Thanksgiving. The next year it was Nov. 15. The next year it was Nov. 1, and it stayed there until I retired from the business about 10 years later. Nordstrom used to do the overnight on Thanksgiving day and I think they still do.

  8. anthrogrrl
    November 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Uh, bad economy + consumer-driven economy = earlier Christmas advertising push. Period. And I hate to tell you, but all the retail stores I have worked for, even back in the mid-90s, had some Christmas stuff in by September, they just kept it in the back aisles until Halloween, and then started moving it forward.

    As for being stuck with leftover decor, I think *because* of the bad economy you probably don’t have to worry. Just because advertising is pushing Christmas, doesn’t mean consumer are *buying* Christmas yet. Don’t fall for the advertising hype! If you want to wait, then hold off, and I believe there will still be plenty of lovely decorations after Thanksgiving. You really think retailers would risk NOT having stock available the WHOLE time they want people to buy? If you wait until the week before, yes, there will likely be problems. But if you give yourself 2-3 weeks, I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding cute ornaments for your tree.

    Of course, if you were my relatives, you’d be shopping for all your Christmas decorations on Dec. 26th — when they’re all 80% off. *smile*

  9. November 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    OH – if you need red bows go to the dollar store. I found that ours had the EXACT SAME RED BOWS AS TARGET for $1 not $4 or $5 – and I found some really cute ornaments there too. Not end of season stuff…really nice and sparkly and all Neiman Marcus looking to me.

  10. November 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    LMAO!!! you are soo dead on!!! there’s not even enough time to enjoy the current holiday we’re in. It’s completley ridic! I was hoping to start my christmas shopping early this year, but hell at this rate I needed to start in June!

  11. November 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    SO I used to get really annoyed at the christmas decorations post-halloween. until this year. i just accepted that i don’t even like thanksgiving that much. why not go from my favorite holidays, birthday in sept and halloween in october, right to my next favorite day CHRISTMAS! So after Christmas I’ll be going to decorate for my birthday again. YAY! nine months of ME!

  12. DMCostorf
    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I had to go to Home Despot this week to get blinky LED lights for my tree because last year when I went there to get them on Dec 4th they were SOLD OUT and WOULDN’T be getting more because “Christmas is over”

    Thank you for sharing and making me think I am not insane…

  13. November 19, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Now that my four year old “gets” Christmas? Every single night before bed it’s “Ho-ho (Santa) morrow?”. And I don’t know how to get him to understand that it’s MORE THAN A MONTH AWAY! Especially because every. single. store. that we walk into has Christmas stuff everywhere.

  14. November 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Amen, sister!

  15. November 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I wish stores would realize that they do suck the joy and excitement out of the holidays. I love, love, LOVE Christmas–but when I see a display in October it only makes me resolve to NOT go overboard on gifts and be another mindless consumer.

    Santa already has his butt parked at our mall. I’m sure his Winter Wonderland will be coated in a thick layer of dust well before Dec. 24th.

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