Are Christmas displays up too early?

By Zack Downing, Staff Writer

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to —wait a second, it’s not that close at all, it’s two months away. Then why have Christmas decorations been up in stores for weeks?

The early installations of Christmas decorations have confused and frustrated people for decades, and recently it seems that stores are stretching even further back into the fall to have their decorations up as long as possible.

Christmas is just a day, but stores are decked out in holiday cheer for up to a quarter of the year.

It’s not just Christmas either; my local Stop & Shop had Halloween candy and pumpkins up at the end of July. It’s still not Halloween.

People react to the early Christmas installations one of two ways: it either pisses them off, or they just think it’s a waste of time to put them up in the fall.

Is it a waste of time? It might seem like one to the average layman, but to the store with the displays up, it’s making the best possible use of time.

It’s simple business: Christmas is by far the most profitable time for stores like Target and Walmart, with customers in a frenzy to buy gifts, candy, and decorations. It’s only one day of the year, and logically, shopping for it should only last a few weeks, but it’s in the stores’ best interest to make the Christmas cashgrab a long period of time.

With the holiday displays and trees out early, they start the shopping frenzy early, which means more shopping and more purchases. Money, capitalism, it works.

Plus, let’s be clear, the displays aren’t actually fooling anyone; if anything, it reminds them to start buying presents before December 23rd comes around.

There are a lot of people who get this theorem, but it’s just the sight of Christmas displays out in late September that gets their blood boiling. “Keep Christmas in December!” they complain fruitlessly.

That’s what I don’t understand about this phenomenon, the anger towards the early decorations. Scoff at the level of desperation for money all you want, but I don’t get why Christmas cheer gets these humbugs upset.

The Christmas season is the happiest part of the frigid New England winter, and we all need a little cheer to push us through the midterm season and the November wind.

I don’t mind seeing inflatable Santas in September because it brings festivity to an otherwise drab climate. It reminds me that I have gifts to give and gifts to look forward to, even if my gifts are a new winter coat and a Marshall’s gift card.

Here at college, we don’t get out of school before the second half of December, and the school doesn’t get Christmassy at all. Christmas decked department stores are our only safe haven to get our holiday spirits up and running before the winter break.

One other positive to a September Christmas is that it replaces those Back To School signs that advertise paper and backpacks, which don’t quite fill me with cheer.

So, early Target Christmas decorations, let me be the first to say, I appreciate you. You may be a little misled, but your heart is in the right place. Get in those stores and represent Christmas no matter what time of the year it is.

I want to see Christmas trees on top of Halloween candy, next to fireworks stands, and behind the Easter bunny.

And if you’re just someone who doesn’t like Christmas displays because they don’t like Christmas, well, you’ve got another problem entirely.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr


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