We were doing some Christmas decorating on the outside of the house, and it turned out we needed a couple of things to finish off the process – like one last string of icicle lights, green extension cords, stakes to hold down a big snowman and nutcracker, etc, etc – typical Christmas stuff, in other words. So we headed out to Lowe Depot, as we like to call it, as our town has a Lowes and a Home Depot across the street from each other, and we typically use them interchangeably and as alternates when we can’t find what we want at one or the other.
Today is Sunday, December 14, 2008 – Christmas is still eleven days away. We had noticed that both of these stores had started putting out their Christmas merchandise before Halloween, if you can believe that. Well, today, fully eleven days before Christmas, we were surprised to find – at both stores – that the Christmas merchandise was already being taken down and replaced with regular hardware and gardening stuff. In both stores the “Christmas Section” was a pathetic little cluster of huddled, leftover crap.
Now, I’m a realist and I understand we were buying this last-minute stuff late in the season, but this wasn’t just slim pickings, this was the store actively taking down the Christmas stuff and getting it out of the way. When you couple with with the pre-Halloween setup of the Christmas stuff, and we now have a “Christmas Season” that, at least from a retail perspective, runs from before Halloween up until mid-December, then gets shoved out of the way before it can become inconvenient, or something.
It was very dispiriting. I mean, I know Christmas has a commercial aspect, but this is ridiculous. Do they really need to be that coldly calculating as to start taking down the Christmas merchandise before Christmas? I mean, shouldn’t they have healthy sales of the merchandise until at least New Years? Don’t “The Holidays” equate to Christmas + New Years? Are they trying to avoid having to sell the stuff at a discount after Christmas?