Christmas came to town early

Christmas displays are making there way onto shelving units in various stores in Durham.
Christmas displays are making there way onto shelving units in various stores in Durham.

What did Christmas decorations do to deserve being the main target of bahumbug-ism during the busiest time of the year?

Displays of Christmas trees, tree decorations, tinsel, wreaths, and novelties have appeared in stores this year even before Halloween has been cleared off the shelves. The Bay, Canadian Tire, and Michael’s have their Christmas décor up already. But it shouldn’t matter that the decorations are out earlier than anticipated.

Christmas lasts a long time on shelves during the winter. Some would say it outdoes other religions because it’s so commercialized and plays out for so long.

Ramadan and Diwali get far less attention – and time. We’re Canadian, a multicultural society, but there’s still so much attention on Christmas.

But the only people who should be able to dish on Christmas overload are the people who don’t celebrate the holiday. It’s definitely understandable for them to complain. It’s probably overwhelming to see these decorations for months and months at a time.

Is it the stores’ marketing strategies that bother people shopping or is it the way Christmas is left on display longer than need be? Truthfully, it’s the shoppers’ fault for letting the marketing teams of companies get the best of them, and not the decorations themselves.

Christmas is supposed to be a holiday filled with cheer, rejoicing and family. But some people say it’s stressful, overwhelming and sometimes a burden to plan. Decorations being out so early may create anxiety for those who plan poorly or leave gift shopping to the last minute, but it shouldn’t be blamed on new shelving units.

Stores start Christmas early to get a jump on the next season before their opponents do. But sometimes it’s because the store’s displays are large and take a long time to set up.

Jimmy Stoikos, manager at Canadian Tire on Gibb Street in Oshawa, says they put up their decorations at the end of September. “Last week of September is when we start gearing up and condensing all our spring and summer stuff and get all our aisles up for Christmas,” he said.

Christmas may seem like a long way away for some, but for stores it isn’t long enough. “It’s one of the shortest seasons but one of the hardest to set up. It probably takes a minimum of four weeks to get the aisles up in place,” he said.

He also said that there’s a lot of work that goes into the setup. “To get all the ornaments, the hooks, the pegs and all merchandise and start early, we’d never get it out in time for Christmas,” he said.
He added their store location started setting up the Christmas selection the same time last year, so it’s no shock they’re doing the same thing this year.
“The last couple of weeks now, the department is looking fuller and fuller. Many customers have said ‘Oh, Christmas already’ but there are a lot of customers that like the Christmas setup,” he said.

Stoikos said the customers shouldn’t be shocked to see Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas clutter on shelves at the same time. “We can’t switch Christmas with a flick of a switch, we need time to set everything up,” he said.

The decorations may be out early, but it’s the marketing team telling the stores to start seasonal preparations. “It’s a part of retail unfortunately, so we need to be prepared for the season and it’s a part of the game,” he said.

Still, decorations take the wrath of the consumers saying it’s too soon to have Christmas before Halloween has started and finished. If customers don’t want to see decorations on shelves so soon, then they shouldn’t buy into the season as early.

The only reason Christmas comes so early in stores is because people are buying it earlier and the stores are simply providing it.

There’s a saying that “you can’t fix others but you can fix yourself.” So if you’re into seasonal indulging, enjoy the merriment. Otherwise, shift your glance the next time you see a Christmas display so early in the year.