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Christmas Comes Before Thanksgiving for Many Retailers

{ Posted on Nov 13 2010 by Marcus Alston }

Retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, Target, Sears, Macy’s and Staples began gearing up for Christmas in their stores before Halloween was over.  I was in Wal-Mart on Halloween day and the Christmas themed candy was already on the shelves.  By the way, Wal-Mart has announced free online shipping on over 60,000 items with no minimum purchase.  Other stores have already leaked their “Black Friday” specials in an intentional act to draw buzz and attention and sales to their stores.  Further yet, other stores are engaging in surprise short notice discounts that expire in hours.  This is a clever trick because once you make the trip to the store, you are likely to stay and buy other items that are not on sale or just recently stopped being on sale.  With all of this sales focus on Christmas, my favorite Holiday, Thanksgiving, seems to be an afterthought.  Can’t we just give the commercialism of Christmas a break until after Thanksgiving?!?!  Well, probably not.

My wife can’t wait to do her Christmas shopping this weekend and wants to do it all on-line.  In the past, while she has started early, she has ended up in the stores up to the end getting last minute items.  We will see about this year.

I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to start my shopping.  The less time I have to shop, the less it feels like Christmas is only about shopping and getting and giving gifts.   I asked an adult what Christmas is all about a few years ago and the answer, after a pause, was Santa Claus!  The person really did not remember the meaning of Christmas beyond the commercial aspect of it.  While I tell my kids Santa is important, the real meaning of Christmas is closer to Thanksgiving.  It’s about family and being thankful for what you have.  And from the religious aspect, if you so believe, being thankful for the birth of Christ who eventually was sacrificed to save mankind.

And if you needed a sign that retailers want more and more time to sell consumers products and want to stretch the lucrative Christmas season, Toys R Us announced that they are opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day!!! According to the Toys R Us’ Black Friday circular, they will offer 150 “doorbuster deals” from 10:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to 1:00 p.m. on Black Friday.  Wow, they could not even wait until midnight or 5 am the next day like in the past.

So what do you think about retailers focusing so much on the commercial part of Christmas even more than usual?  Do you like it, hate it, or are you indifferent?

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