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November 09, 2006

'Tis the season for season treason.

Pumkinsantahat_1There's a radio station here in town that's already playing holiday music 24/7. They've been at it since the first of November. Last night, as I helped unload some groceries at home, I noted that the polar bears are back on Coke's packaging. Of course, the holiday decorations began sharing shelf space with Halloween's ghouls late last month. Some retailers seem to be holding the line, but others are starting their holiday push right now. Or actually, a week and a half ago. Budgets and plans aside, it's a mistake to go all Santa on us this early. Yankelovich calls it "season treason." And it pisses consumers off. Rightly so. The question is will consumers ever begin to punish those who are guilty of the "treason?" Most of the stuff I see says that while the practice annoys, it also works for retailers. What are you best examples?

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Starbucks has their red cups and holiday junk out. Started today at my regular spot. Macy's had their trees up when the Halloween stuff came down.

Much as I don't want to see holiday crap for 2 full months, it does make sense for big retailers. They might as well put Christmas up as they take Halloween down. Kind of a "Long as we're here" thing.

And I think it depends on where you are. In Minnesota, there isn't much need to get people thinking wintery thoughts. Just step outside. In Hawaii, the climate is working against people getting into the holidays, so they need a lot of extra cues.

BAM! Overnight last night (Wednesday, November 8th) the Plaza Starbucks went from fall finery to Christmas. Down to the pastries (bring back my pumpkin scones and noone gets hurt). It's all red, all over. Looks like a murder scene. As always, it's well done, and they certainly get an A for saturation. But man, couldn't wait until after freakin' Thanksgiving?

People in our neighborhood have their freaking lights up, and dont EVEN tell me they are Thanksgiving lights. Man, don't even get me starried on the Ghost of Christmas Too Soon. The drug store has their Holiday bags out. Costco had holiday items in mid-August. The things is, consumers are the ones driving this, I think. The commenters on this blog are the smallest percentage of consumers. The ones that love early holiday decor are the ones who are Holiday shopping in the summmer. They like to get all that pesky Christmas shopping done before the crowds come. They've taken every last bit of emotion out of the holiday season and injected an unhealthy dose of consumerism. it's actually the only time of year that i hate shopping. And that's saying a lot. Sorry about that rant. My local car wash also has reindeer on it's sign. Guess they want Santa to hit them first.

People in my neighborhood never took them down.

I thought Season Treason was when we don't call the season what it really is. You know, Christmas.

Sweet Baby Jesus!

Westlake Hardware Corporate has their 25-foot Christmas tree up and lit at I-35 and I-435.

Halloween is the new Thanksgiving. Now, Jesus shares shelf and mindspace with Satan. It's the ultimate battle of good and evil. And true to the American way, it's being fought in our retail aisles. Yes, the real war isn't overseas, it's right down at your local Walgreens, where the ho-ho-hos are barely audible over the half-price screams of terror.

There is hope, however. A few years back I heard a retail expert explaining that seasonal shopping can't shift much earlier, because then it would interfere with back-to-school shopping. Seeing as how retailers start their back to school stuff in June, I'd say I'm thankful for that.

Thankful? You mean that's what this season is really supposed to be about? Sheesh.

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