The calendar had just barely turned from October to November when I first heard the sound of jingle bells and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” booming from my radio.
With my Halloween decorations still up and a large bowl of chocolate treats taking up real estate in my apartment, the distinct sound of Christmas music seemed out of place on this early November day.
With the Christmas season being pushed earlier and earlier each year, the entire calendar seems to also fall out place. School supplies appear in July. Halloween candy materializes in September. Valentine’s Day cards pop up right after the New Year.
We all know that this cycle is tied to strategic planning on behalf of retailers as they try to tap into the psyche of the American consumer, but I am continuously frustrated by this man-made timeline.
Researchers this year, though, say 2010’s holiday sales are coming later due to the slow economic recovery. Sixty-three percent of consumers say they won’t start shopping until November, according to the National Retail Federation, while many of these shoppers are used to searching for deals earlier in the fall.
The holiday merchandise we’re accustomed to seeing early in the season may not be on display quite yet at many retailers try to line up their stock with the needs of these now late-fall shoppers.
This news came as a surprise, but I immediately felt a sense of relief. I don’t need to be focusing on Christmas gifts, holiday parties and work functions when this month I should be counting my blessings with family and friends and anticipating a cold, yet cozy, Minnesota winter. The Christmas cookies and hot cocoa can wait a few more weeks while I appreciate the season we’re currently in and enjoy today for exactly what it is: today.
So for now, there will be no Christmas carols blaring from my car radio – at least until after Thanksgiving.