Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Christmas in August

A few weeks ago, I saw an animated Christmas display in Wal-Mart. I wasn't sure if it was meant as a joke or whether they were trying to compensate for poor sales back-to-school sales by pushing up holiday merchandising a bit.

Then, last week, I noticed that Costco now has Christmas decorations and merchandise out. As I recall, they normally hold out until September, so maybe there is a trend.

What do I think of this? To be honest, my emotions are mixed.

When my family moved to the U.S. in 1978, my mother was rather indignant of the practice then of beginning Christmas merchandising "already" in early November. The Danish culture at the time certainly would not have condoned that. (By the way, I will ask my mother and sister to check, when they visit Denmark in two weeks' time, whether Danish stores have gotten a bit more "with it" these days). I, on the other hand, thought this was rather cool. It was a subtle way of rebelling against the system and I did not see any harm in extending the duration of the holiday spirit. In fact, I will sometimes wear Christmas ties in April--they really aren't much fun to wear after Labor Day, let alone in December!

Nowadays, however, I wonder about this Christmas merchandising. I am concerned about the environmental consequences of the excess consumption that is being promoted, and I worry about families spending more than they can afford. Yes, some marketers have a conscience!


Anonymous said...

HI Lars,
Could it be that the xmas in Aug. is a more local phenomenon? I have noticed in other areas of the country that xmas stuff can usually be found in Oct. or even Nov.
Calexico seems to have a city-wide fetish with tacky decorations, where nearly every house on any given block has at least lights on the eves and a sled or santa... perhaps Wal-mart has recognized this fact and tapped into the local area's needs.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to make a comment on a website other than your blog and you put your full name and put PH.D. near it you should have enough common sense to learn how to spell and use correct grammar.

"What do I think of this? To be honest, my emotions I mixed."

Unless I am gravely mistaken, you meant to put 'is' between emotions and mixed. Which would have corrected the sentence except for the fact that it wouldn't be 'is' it would be 'are' since emotions is plural.

Just thought I would let you know so you can change it if you would like.

~A High School Novelist