Early arrival of Christmas spirit

By John Del Sordo
October 28, 2004

Although many people cringe when they see Christmas decorations before Halloween, retail stores claim they are simply meeting customer demands when decorating for Christmas early in the year. Many stores at the King of Prussia Mall have already begun celebrating the holidays with decorated trees, holiday specials and signs anticipating the seasonal events.
Although some people have embraced Santa’s early arrival, many people are feeling as if the holidays are being rushed on them as a type of sales pitch.
The Christmas spirit has not only hit the malls, but also the community where Christmas lights are being hung earlier than Thanksgiving. People have already hit malls in search of the perfect gift for loved ones in order to avoid the crowded mob-scene that makes up the King of Prussia and other malls.
Some people want to avoid overpopulated stores warmed with body heat and tainted with bitter attitudes that are frozen by the cold and long walk from the car. “It’s never too early to get your Christmas shopping done,” Abby Moul, senior, liberal arts major, said. “The stores seem to want you to get in the Christmas spirit in June, so why not start early?”
Many shoppers do not appreciate the marketing ploys of the large companies, and see early Christmas decorations as either disrespectful to the holidays, or as reminder of the stressful season that is soon to come. Kelly Davis, a sophomore business major, prefers to wait until closer to Christmas to begin her shopping struggle this season.
Davis said, “If the stores have to bring the Christmas merchandise into the stores so early, why even bother taking them down in the first place. They might as well just leave them up all year round.”
In the case of Christmas shopping, it seems most people tend to procrastinate. Although many people tend to think that Black Friday is the top shopping day of the year, it actually is a day made up of mostly returns or exchanges, not money spending.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the top shopping days for the last 10 years have been between Dec. 17 and Dec. 23. Although these dates are before Christmas Eve, they do not support the idea that people want to begin Christmas shopping as early as stores are pitching.
The early Christmas advertisements are leaving some mall employees as outraged as consumers. “All they care about is money,” Kristy Lopez, hairstylist for Bubbles salon, said. “Companies should let families financially recover from back-to-school shopping, Halloween and Thanksgiving before they start bombarding them with Christmas stuff.”
Although people can get emotional about the direction stores take towards the Christmas season, some store managers aren’t claiming responsibility for when the Christmas stuff goes up. Matthew Labar, assistant manager of Solstice Boutique, said, “Our suppliers send us Christmas merchandise in early August and we don’t put it out on the shelves until our competitors do, or when shoppers start to ask us to.”

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John Del Sordo

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