With Halloween right around the corner, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest retailers have limited choices on costumes and spooky decorations, but once again… the big push for sales revolves around Christmas. As I shopped this past weekend for a few Halloween items, I found it difficult to find a variety of things, including Home Decor. One of my favorite retailers ‘Big Lots’ had two isles of scattered remnants, as if Halloween was almost over, but as I turned into the third isle… it was Christmas in full form. The retailers everywhere are in on the holiday push for early sales, and apparently people are buying into that, so the shelves are packed. This past summer, the online retailer Amazon announced its ‘Prime Day’, advertising Christmas in July. While it seemed to be a great success, Wal-Mart also cashed in, announcing its Layaway program in September 2015, offering its exclusive ‘Star Wars’ toys that were released and put out on Sept. 4th this year.

A new term being used among the media now is the ‘Christmas Creep’, and displays are popping up in almost all of the retail stores. I found it amazing while walking through some of these isles, as Christmas decorations are filling up the shelves with wrapping paper, decorations of all kinds, including Holiday lights and trees. I can only imagine what Black Friday might bring this year, as the competition is tightening among online retailers, giving the big chains a run for their money. Who will have the best deals? I’m not quite sure, but I have a feeling it will be very competitive; in which case some of you may have your Christmas shopping done before December ever arrives. In fact, I recently saw Christmas programs on television already, and ‘No’ I’m not kidding. About a week ago, or more, the movies ‘Elf’ and ‘The Holiday’ have already aired… and as I searched for Charlie Browns Halloween, I couldn’t find a listing anywhere in the cable guide. Now granted, I love holiday shows and movies, but putting these on the air prior to Halloween is just a bit much for me.

Second hand stores are also joining in the so-called Christmas Creep. Goodwill chains have done well with Holiday items, but its slim pickings for Halloween accessories and costumes there as well. However, they too have begun to put out Christmas Décor. I imagine the Christmas Creeping will continue year after year. My biggest fear is that the holidays will lose their meaning, and commercializing them so much will continue to push retailers in to staying open throughout the actual holiday itself. Thanksgiving is also near, and once it was a day for families to gather ‘round the dinner table, while being thankful for their meal and spending time together… however, some retailers (actually probably ‘most’), are staying open and extending late hours for their best deals, which force people to work these days, pulling them away from family gatherings; not to mention the shoppers that will wait overnight in long lines. I, for one, do not engage in all of that, as Thanksgiving will remain an important holiday for me and my family. As far as Christmas, I can only hope that retailers will never have an opportunity to keep their doors open on this day… I believe it’s just wrong; but everyone is entitled to their own opinions… and that’s what this is, my opinion… for whatever it’s worth.

Make your week count.