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Speak Out: Christmas in October?

What do you think of holiday items being displayed in stores in October?

Ahh, fall has begun. The leaves are starting to turn, kids are starting to think about Halloween costumes, Starbucks offers its pumpkin spice lattes, and…Christmas trees are in stores.

No, we're not kidding.

A Patch editor shopping at BJ’s in Alexandria last weekend spotted...Christmas trees being sold. Yes, big, sparkly Christmas trees. It was warm enough at the time to be wearing shorts. 

Retailers like Target are starting to sell Christmas trees online. It's easy to find Christmas countdowns on Twitter and even Christmas tree farms starting to peddle their wares.

So, Patch readers, what do you think? The temperatures have started to get colder, but how early is too early to start thinking about Christmas or for stores to display holiday items?

Have you seen any holiday items being sold in local stores?

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Amanda M. Socci, Freelance Writer October 08, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Well, being fascinated with consumer topics and having created an entire magazine devoted to consumer issues more than 10 years ago, I've long been aware of retail trends that accelerate holidays. I've known for a long time that the retail industry sells goods and merchandise in stores a full two months ahead of the actual calendar. That being said, I'm not bothered seeing Christmas trees on October 8 because I've already seen the same thing going on for so many years. I think it's more of a psychological ploy on the part of retailers to sell seasonal items early as a means of selling more goods and increasing their bottom line. If consumers become aware of these sales tactics and react in their homes instead of with their wallets, they'll be better off, with more bucks in the bank!
Deborah Noble Coburn October 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I am a wholesale home, garden, and sports representative, sellling only to independent retailers in this area. There is another very practical aspect to this timing. Literally thousands of hours go into creating those fabulous theme trees, scenes, and coordinating displays that we all o-o-oh and a-h-h over the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers begin to get fall and holiday merchandise from dozens of manufacturers in June, July, and August. Between helping customers and tending to other daily duties, they check each shipments in, price each item, and re-pack the Christmas items, usually according to theme. Once the fall, halloween, and harvest items are on the floor and merchandised, local business owners and their staffs can begin to assemble the trees and "fluff" every tree, garland, and wreath, pulling each branch away from the center one by one. Then they begin to decorate and display the trees in the back area of the store, working forward. The task of transforming the entire store... decorating and staging all of the holiday magic...often ends very late on the night before Thankgiving day or after Thanksgiving is enjoyed with family and the retailer returns to the store on Thanksgiving evening. Deborah Noble Coburn Territory Manager Evergreen flag, garden, home, and sports
annbiczo@gmail.com October 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I saw Christmas trees in KMart in Springfield, and I was turned off. Halloween hasn't happened yet and Christmas stuff is shoved down my throat.
Vivian Babcock October 09, 2012 at 01:29 PM
This year, for some reason, I am feeling the crunch - I like it and will be out shopping for lights and decorations as soon as I find the time. If you wait to do all of your decorating after Thanksgiving, everything is picked over. It never fails, I look at my husband and say, " We should have bought this stuff in July."
Rosie Bombaugh October 09, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I think it's awful. Lets celebrate each holiday one at a time, specially Christmas, the birth of Christ. It feels like we are skipping everything in between now and Christmas. I refuse to purchase anything related to Christmas until November!
Alica K. Garrison October 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I think it stinks to have Christmas stuff up now. I remember the days when the Christmas season officially started the day after Thanksgiving. When I was a child, growing up in Vienna, Santa Claus would come via helicopter and land along Maple Ave. After cheerfully greating everyone, he would clone himself, and take up residence in the several little houses lining Maple Ave. After visiting him, you would get a candy cane.
EL October 09, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I don't mind retailers having Christmas stuff up for sale ( I myself fancy a Christmas in July and decorations can be difficult to find), but the decorative theme overall should still be Halloween. Or if you aren't a Halloween person, a Thanksgiving or Autumn/Harvest theme. All I ask is save the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.

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