If I had the opportunity to write a horror movie, and they wouldn’t let me do a killer clown or haunted house or killer doll one, I’d write a horror movie called The Christmas Creep. It would be a Halloween and Christmas themed monster movie about a creature that murders anyone responsible for displaying Christmas decor before October is over. Costco managers beware!
In August I observed with some optimism that Halloween seemed to be making its annual appearance earlier than usual. I chalked it up to Halloween falling on a Friday and retailers recognizing the opportunity to cash in. But as the season has progressed I noticed a disturbing side effect – Christmas Creep has become much more aggressive.
I used to deride Costco for dismissing Halloween well before the actual holiday hit in order to get a jump start on Christmas, but I knew why they did it. Costco’s primary customer is the mother who likes to plan in advance and save money doing it, so it made sense that they would take more of an “early bird” approach. Home Depot and Lowes did the same thing, but I didn’t care too much because I never relied on them for Halloween decor, excepting the raw materials I used to make things myself.
But this year, it’s on a whole new level. Christmas started sinking in at the aforementioned places before even October arrived. Granted, it seemed to be pre-stock, staged on shelves behind the Halloween decor, ready to be shuffled to the front. And then I saw this:
That’s Big Lots, staging their Christmas decor – the BIG stuff – side by side with the Halloween merchandise, in September. That’s bold. Some might say audacious. I’d call it blasphemous.
Target, whom I used to laud for going the extra mile with their Halloween seasonal sections, seems to have really shit the bed this year. It took them until the last week of September to get their Halloween merch out on shelves, and right off the bat it was suspiciously barren. The sparse, empty shelves looked like the day before Halloween, not the start of the season (I heard rumors there was some kind of a dockworkers strike to blame for this). And right behind it all was Christmas. They seem to only be acknowledging Halloween out of obligation. I hate to see what that season area will look like in a few weeks.
It’s sad that Thanksgiving has already been totally steamrolled by Christmas, relegated to a designated shopping day rather than the kickoff to the Christmas season. But now Halloween is the next target. It used to be something of an exaggerated joke, but this year it feels like a line has been crossed.
I don’t imagine there’s more of a converted choir to preach to than the readers of this website, but still, this is only happening because people are buying into it (literally). Don’t buy Christmas decorations in October. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving. Let each holiday have its day.
Or in Halloween’s case, its two months.