BAH, HUMBUG!

by Steve Clem on November 16, 2011

I will not apologize for being a scrooge.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas.

Love it!

I mean, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my favorite movie of all time.

But this year, I’m not feeling it.

Maybe because we aren’t even to Thanksgiving yet? Call me crazy.

My store switched over to our Holiday theme on Nov. 1.

I may or may not have procrastinated a few days on that.

The mall put up the 30 foot Christmas tree last week, giving yet another target for drunk patrons of Toby Keith’s to vomit.

Every light post in a four block radius is adorned with fake holly and red ribbons.

And of course, the PA system that usually plays generic “soft hip hop, jazz and soothing soul” now features “soft hip hop, jazz, and soothing soul renditions of the Christmas holiday standbys.”

Maybe I’m just turning into a grumpy old man in my 40’s.

Just a few short years away from “GET OFF MY LAWN YOU PUNKS!”

But really?

The day after Halloween has suddenly become the new “Beginning of the Holiday Season,” otherwise known as “Oh shit…the economy is hurting, we need to stretch out the retail season and see if people start spending more money again!”

And from both running a retail store and before that years of working in marketing, I understand the need to come up with new ways to get people into your store and buying.

But I don’t think it has to come at the expense of stretching out what was already a “way too long” holiday season.

Let’s finish cleaning up the dishes from the Thanksgiving meal and taking our long snoozes on couches and lazyboys before we deck the halls, huh?

And for the retailers who have decided to begin their “Black Friday” sales on Thursday evening, well, I seriously hope the execs who signed off on this idea are there in those stores on Thursday instead of home with their families.

I’ll be unlocking the doors at my store at 8 a.m. on Black Friday. Which means I’ll be leaving my family’s Thanksgiving dinner in Sioux Falls and driving home that night. It’s part of the job, I know.

Just don’t make me have to deal with an extended holiday season on top of that.

But if the trend continues, don’t be surprised if I don’t start promoting a Valentine’s Day Surf and Turf Combo at my store beginning Jan. 1.

And don’t forget to stock up on your 4th of July picnic needs while you’re here!

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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