There’s something unsettling about walking into my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store to buy a chainsaw in mid-October. You quickly discover that the only path to that chainsaw is to pass by a display of massive inflatable snowmen, Santa Clauses, sleighs, and a holiday-dressed Mickey Mouse, as well as enough Christmas decorations to outnumber all the drills, hammers, screwdrivers, clamps, batteries, and bags of concrete in the store.
There are a few mannequin-style vampires, zombies, and skeletons dressed in tattered clothing. In addition to some plastic pumpkins, spooky-themed door mats and boxed inflatable Despicable Me yard decorations, that’s about it for Halloween.
And Thanksgiving? Well, good luck, Thanksgiving. Of course, ceramic turkeys will be on the way, but for now, not much of anything is there. It is Christmas which has come to town, infiltrating store after store like a plague of unwelcome eye sores.
It’s interesting how we’ve evolved to become consumers of gargantuan yard decorations. Yet, I don’t recall anybody asking for them. But, perhaps we did…
Dear Christmas Decorations Manufacturer:
Is there any way you can push the envelope a little, and knock out some inflatable yard abominations large enough to hide our homes? You know…BIG inflatables that’ll make it look as if we’re putting on a grounded hot air balloon festival. And slap a price tag on them for a couple hundred dollars, because you know us…we’ll buy whatever you put out there!
We The People
Perhaps there were protesters outside Lowe’s whom I never saw, pumping their “OCTOBER CHRISTMAS!! OCTOBER CHRISTMAS!!” picket signs into the air, while shouting, “WE WANT REINDEER!! EIGHT-FOOT INFLATABLE REINDEER!!”
Did a protester stand on top of one of Lowe’s riding lawn mowers, and speak into a megaphone to a gathering crowd of head-nodding followers?… “UNTIL LOWE’S SELLS US INFLATABLE GINGER BREAD HOUSES, ELVES, IGLOOS, AND COCA-COLA-DRINKING POLAR BEARS, WE SHALL REFUSE TO BUY THEIR CHAINSAWS, BIRD SEED, AND FIRE ANT KILLER!!!”
However these massive yard decorations came to be, one thing is certain: a need to display them two-and-a-half months prior to Christmas has become the new norm. And that goes for every Christmas tree ornament, string of lights, package of tinsel, artificial poinsettia, and mistletoe decoration as well.
There was a time when Christmas decorations weren’t sold until Thanksgiving. There was something that just felt right about it—as if the month of December was meant to be festive. Had massive, inflatable yard decorations been a part of that past, it’s quite possible they wouldn’t be so over-the-top as they are in mid-October.
Until there’s enough public outcry to persuade retailers to at least keep Christmas out of October, then chances are that—and you guessed it—the greedy hands of September won’t be too far away.
But it is what it is. Christmas, with its mass consumer grandeur, has been a multi-billion dollar generator for many, many years. And it has no plan of stopping. Without Christmas, the success of our national economy would never reach its celebrated numbers. And to that, as Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Lowe’s watch the increasing sales of gargantuan yard ornaments, they have really only one thing to say…
“Thank you, Jesus!”
Copyright Ros Hill 2017