Payne’s Pain: The Christmas Creep

Alex PayneJust hear those sleigh bells jinglin,’ ring ting tinglin,’ too. Come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!

I will be the first to say that I love Christmas and I go all out when it comes to Christmas time. It pains me to take down the Christmas decorations that I had spent hours putting up, but I know that Christmas is over and it needs to be done.

I can remember throwing a fit as a child when we had to take down the Christmas tree. My parents had to give me a candy cane to shut me up.

But when it is approaching 100 degrees in early fall I am not thinking about snow or Christmas decorations, but some local retail shops are.

Last fall on Sept. 14, I was shopping for clothes at Kohl’s and I walked into the Christmas section. It was an entire section full of Christmas decorations! In September!

I was surprised, but little did I know that this is all a part of a retail trend called the “Christmas Creep.”

Every year retailers are getting their Christmas items out earlier and earlier. It is making Christmas way too commercialized. What happened to keeping Christ in Christmas?

I was a little curious on how early many different stores in the area start to put up their Christmas items. So I decided in traditional Andy Rooney style to call up local retailers to see when they put up their Christmas items.

One of the most shocking I found was Von Maur in West Des Moines. They put their Christmas displays up on Sept. 3 of this year.

I was most surprised however that the items in the display are not for sale according to the store. They have to wait until they get a fax (yes they said fax, and yes, it is 2013) from corporate on when to start selling items.

Menards put a limited selection of their Christmas items on sale Sept. 9. Kohl’s told me they planned on starting to put their items on sale Sept. 11.

Home Depot, however, plans on waiting until the end of September to put their items out.

Craft stores like Michaels started putting some of their Christmas crafts and items on sale the week after Labor Day.

Walmart told me that nothing has been sent to them but they are planning on having items for sale by the end of October.

Target told me that they will have their items on sale around that same time.

Ankeny’s newest big box store, Fleet Farm, will have items on sale sometime in October.

What happened to waiting until around Thanksgiving to get your shopping done and putting out Christmas decorations? I do not see why you can’t wait until the beginning of November.

When many stores have Christmas items on clearance sometimes through February, that means some stores could have Christmas items on sell for six months – half the year!

Put Christ back in Christmas. I am sure Jesus would be a little happier if we focus more on his birth and the great things He did rather than the garland, lights and Christmas trees.

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