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The Blue & Gray Press | March 24, 2019

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Stores make room for Thanksgiving and keep Christmas in December


Take a walk to Eagle Village and walk into almost any store in the area. There is a noticeably common theme among many of them and that theme is Christmas.

It seems that stores forgot about the fact that there is a holiday between Halloween and Christmas. As soon as the calendar hits Nov. 1, stores quickly remove all traces of Halloween from their shelves and put up Christmas decorations. Some stores even begin to sneak in signs of Christmas as early as the beginning of October, placing Halloween decorations next to Christmas ones.

However, this is not what a majority of Americans want. An online survey of 2,038 Americans ages 18 and older by Harris Interactive on behalf of SOASTA, revealed that 77 percent of American adults think stores should not put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. The survey also found that 81 percent of American adults think stores should not play Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Why do stores do this then?

Mary-Jayne McKay, a CBS commentator, wrote what is reassert because “there is no money in Thanksgiving for businesses. People trying to sell things want to skip right over it and get to Christmas. Christmas is far and away the most commercial holiday we have. Some stores do 30 percent of their whole year’s business in the period before Christmas. That’s why they try to make it last a long time by starting it earlier every year.”

It is all about the money. However, consumers spend on average $30 billion a year on Thanksgiving, compared to the average $7 billion consumers spend on Halloween and the $450 billion average that consumers spend on Christmas. Why is Thanksgiving, a holiday that so many consumers spend money on skipped over when it comes to most stores? The answer is simple; it is because at Thanksgiving consumers spend their money on food not paraphernalia. Since most stores do no specialize in food it is not profitable for them to specialize in Thanksgiving. Therefore, they move one profitable holiday to the next, skipping the holiday in between.

Although stores appear to have a valid reason for skipping the quintessential holiday of Thanksgiving, there is no reason why the rest of the country should follow suit. The Christmas season is not going anywhere. It will be there bright and early Friday, Nov. 29 with the glitter, the trees, the hustle and bustle and all the Christmas movies on Lifetime. It will be right there waiting after you’re done hugging family members and eating so much that elastic pants are needed.

This year, remember to take the time and slow down to be thankful.

Do not spend the next few weeks rushing around, trying to squeeze as much Christmas you possibly can into November. There is all of December for that.