Stop the Madness!

Inside retail stores, you would think Christmas was just around the corner…

I thought I’d post about my fall trip to the UP of Michigan. Absolutely spectacular. But instead, I have an ax to grind with retail. STOP SEASON JUMPING.

I kicked off my vacation by spending the day with Steve. We planned a leisurely lunch and a stroll along the Lakewalk. Simple stuff. We had some extra time so I thought I’d pop into Hobby Lobby to grab a few candles and some fall pillows. It was after all, October 2, or the start of fall.

Imagine my surprise when fall décor was downsized to a mere three shelves and barely a pillow to be found. I’d understand if the culprit was COVID-19 or supply chain issues. Instead, it was Christmas that demoted Fall to less space than the Farmhouse Décor Display. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chicken/pig/cow combo as much as the next gal but fall is one of only FOUR seasons. I settled for my pillar and tea light candles, more determined than ever to find the perfect fall pillows at a different store.

At check-out, the cashier asked if we found everything we needed. Steve cannot help himself. This is the same guy that questioned a Hobby Lobby cashier about whether they have Sunday hours after learning the corporate owner’s position on birth control and religion.

He comments on the lack of fall pillows, at which point, the woman laughs and mentions how quickly things fly off the shelves as soon as they are marked 50 percent off. It is just enough fuel to the fire for Steve to point out that most women are better planners than I and probably started decorating their house at the start of fall versus October. I know, I am a lucky gal. What more could a gal want on a date?

I digress. Anyways, I spent the next few days of vacation hitting up a variety of stores in three states. Big box stores, boutique stores, gift shops and more. In every instance, Christmas trumped Fall. By mid-week, I was losing hope I’d ever find a few throw pillows that capture the heart and soul of my favorite season. Then, it got even worse.

Meantime, outside the weather is in the 70s, sunny and the colors are just starting to change. Just sayin’.

I turned on the Today Show to catch the local weather cut-in to see just how wet I’d get chasing waterfalls in and around Munising. The teaser – how Amazon and Target are already battling for my holiday spending with pre-Black Friday specials. This week the Amazon Prime Christmas Toy catalog showed up in my mailbox.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Christmas in July sales. Santa Claus on display in Cost Co in August. Season Greetings and Christmas Tree ornaments dominating window displays by September. Fall a distant memory, even in stores like Kohls by early October. I used to admire the stores who closed on Black Friday and encouraged folks to go outside. I now understand that many of these stores can afford to be closed on Black Friday because the shopping bonanza is no longer relevant. It is getting to the point that if you aren’t done shopping by Black Friday you somehow have missed the best deals and are behind the 8-ball. Last I checked, Christmas still comes December 25 every year.

Can we just please live in the moment. Can we stop hurrying through seasons only to attempt capitalizing on the next big thing, and instead just enjoy the moment we’re living in.   

I don’t want pumpkin spice lattes in July (or ever frankly) any more than I want Peeps year-round (seriously, once a year was enough). Apple crisp mix should be front and center through Thanksgiving. Halloween candy should be available the entire month of October, even on, wait for it, Halloween. There’s a thought. Thanksgiving, which follows a Fall décor theme, comes BEFORE Christmas. Let’s savor the turkey theme and cornucopias and dried corn stalks before we shove the evergreen wreaths down my throat. I am reminded every day of my inadequacies. Of all of the things in life I need to do. Can we not add to it, the stress of shopping 6-months ahead of schedule to avoid some fake frenzy over discounted holiday pillows.

Is that too much to ask?

PS Wal-Mart saved the day with 5 boxes of indoor Fall throw pillows in the front of their store. It helps that their store is large enough to support Fall and Christmas at the same time but I’ll give credit where credit is due.   

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