At what point is it too soon? Reader whit o’ wit reports that the Hallmark Store in Burnsville Center Mall has already put out its Christmas decorations for this year. While it could very well be that Hallmark’s usefulness has gone to near zero in 2012 and the only thing people still buy from them are Christmas-related decoration, one really has to wonder why stores insist on making Christmas a year-round holiday when most of the shopping for the holidays gets done during the more traditional times.
A simple search of news sources talking about whether the holiday shopping season begins too early has come up with a variety of stories but none of which discuss Christmas sales beginning as far back as July. In fact, one article notes that they only holiday shopping items you should be checking off your list in July is to plan for what shopping you’re going to do and save your money.
Another article claims the Christmas-in-July phenomenon began in 1933 at a girl’s summer camp to lift their spirits after the school year but it wasn’t a national trend until 7 years later:
Believe it or not a girl’s summer camp is to blame. In July of 1933, Camp Keystone decided to lift the spirits of the children following the end of their school season. They decided on the best spirit-boosting theme all children loved. They bought a Christmas tree, exchanged gifts with good-old Saint Nick looking on. Christmas in July was such a success it became their tradition. But Christmas in July didn’t become a national phrase until Hollywood’s 1940 movie aptly named Christmas in July about a young man who thinks he has won $25,000 and proceeds to buy presents for the whole town.
If we’re doing this to lift the spirits of kids after the 2011-2012 school year, it’s because Back to School shopping items were on sale BEFORE the end of the 2011-2012 school year this year. It’s as if Target is backing year-round schooling in Minnesota before anyone else.
What do you think about putting out Christmas decorations in July? How about Back to School items before school is even out? Do you think that these stores do this because they are trying to accomplish some misguided attempt at extending traditionally profitable seasons for longer hoping the profits will come with it? When is too early? Do you do any shopping for Christmas now? Do you wonder if Hallmark in Burnsville Center is hurting bad and is trying to dump some inventory before closing up shop? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.