C'mon Lowe's...there's still 89 shopping days until Christmas. Put the fake trees away and nobody gets hurt...
As of yesterday, you have 89 shopping days until Christmas...and you better get started now. At least that's the message I received when my husband and I walked into Lowe's yesterday. Instead of the usual display of barbecues, rakes and leaf blowers, we were confronted with a frightening quantity and selection of Christmas trees, Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas lawn ornaments and useless Christmas decorations to clutter up the interior of our home. There were fat trees, tall trees, skinny trees, white trees, pre-lit trees and my personal favorite...the table top tree.
In confusion, perhaps fearing the onset of Alzheimer's, the love of my life turned to me and said, "It is September...right?" I could only nod mutely. At least...I was pretty sure that I'd been celebrating the beginning of fall less than a week earlier. Sometimes I do get busy and I'm the first to admit that occasionally time does get away from me...especially here in Arizona where the days are usually a blur of monotonous perfection.
I understand that the economy is questionable and perhaps the retail community is already fretting over potential dismal sales this holiday season. But there has to be a better solution than starting earlier and earlier each year. No wonder by the time the actual holiday arrives, I'm already sick of it.
I'm sorry Lowe's...but somebody has to take a stand...and I'm calling you out on this one. Obviously, your upper management has lost all ability to be rational, so allow me to inject some reality into your world. Ready?
It is September...the end of the ninth month of the year. It is therefore permissible to display Halloween bric-a-brac. I know, I know...you are a home improvement store and therefore unable to capitalize on the costume and candy market. Sucks to be you. It's not your turn...so be nice and wait. My budget only allows for one holiday at a time and in approximately thirty days or so a nasty little horde of midgets will be descending upon my home demanding candy. If you have an inexpensive candy alternative, I'll consider it....but I strongly suspect that if I gave out gardening gloves and paper respiratory masks, my house would be toilet papered in nothing flat.
Next month is October and should you wish to participate in the Thanksgiving season, you will have my blessing. I'm sure that there's a market for giant inflatable turkey yard ornaments and that my neighbor would probably buy one. He seems to enjoy lowering the standards of our fine neighborhood with his ostentatious holiday displays as often as possible. If not that, I find it hard to believe that you can't make a stunning profit on deep fryers and fire extinguishers for the man that insists on testing the limits of his home insurance policy. I saw a few of these shiny silver vessels while I was there last night, tucked BEHIND the Christmas trees. You may want to have a talk with whoever is setting up your displays. Since Thanksgiving comes BEFORE Christmas, items for the aforementioned holiday should be set in FRONT of your Christmas crap.
I'm armed and I know how to use this...
Although I would prefer to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the Christmas season, I will graciously bite my tongue should you choose to begin shamelessly promoting your merchandise on November 1st. I still won't be thinking Christmas trees, but perhaps a more pro-active shopper less prone to procrastination than I am might be. However, I must draw the line at Christmas music. I was grateful to note that the current display came without the mood-altering music that usually accompanies these holiday promotions, and I simply must insist that you keep it that way until November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. I love the song "White Christmas" as much as the next person...but after twenty six days, I feel pretty confident in telling you that I will probably snap and it won't be pretty. You really don't want me snapping anywhere near power tools...need I explain further?
Now, your fine sales team is probably wondering, what is the harm in advertising a little early? I can't speak for the rest of the country, but doing so here in Arizona is not only ridiculous, it's irresponsibly dangerous. You don't see it? Fine...allow me to walk you through it. Let me know if I go too fast or make a leap of logic that is beyond your ability.
Sort of what my neighbor's yard looks like...
Being September, should you actually manage to somehow complete a sale of your Christmas trees and associated décor, I doubt very much anyone is racing home to display it in their homes or yards. Have you ever dealt with a homeowner's association? Remember that neighbor I told you about? Well he's an esteemed member of these yard nazis. Each holiday he spends several days attempting to dazzle the community with his creations. Halloween is one of his personal favorites...witches, vampires, ghouls loitering about in a spooky graveyard, complete with creepy music and a fog machine that rolls a damp cloud of moisture all the way to our house on the other side of the cul de sac. While I'm sorely tempted to put Frosty the Snowman and several elves on my lawn just so I can watch him pitch a fit, I can guarantee you that the next day I'd find a big, fat envelope in my mailbox courtesy of the H.O.A. with a remove or else ultimatum.
So of course, I have no choice but to store your seasonal crap until, at the very least, November. Okay, now stay with me on this one. Where do people in Arizona store the crap they don't need at the moment? That's right...the attic. In some parts of the country, September means warm days and chilly nights...which of course brings to mind things like flannel shirts, colorful foliage and perhaps the first cheerful blaze in the fireplace to chase away that late night chill. Here in Arizona, eighty-eight degrees in the morning can seem downright chilly in comparison to the recent three digit temperatures we've grown accustomed to, but the fact remains my attic is still a rather hellish 300 degrees or so.
I wouldn't leave a child or pet in the car while I shopped at your store...and I certainly wouldn't send anyone up into my attic this time of year. It would simply be criminal. I can't even bribe the exterminator or the HVAC repairman to go up there, what makes you think my own husband would willingly risk his life venturing into this hot zone?
Now...if you put up a sign by your lovely Christmas display advertising free delivery to my attic, I might be willing to consider purchasing that rather charming inflatable Santa Claus in a helicopter yard ornament you had on the top shelf. Or perhaps the one of Santa and his friends driving an inflatable pirate ship (the little red cardinal that peeks out occasionally above the side cannon is a nice touch, by the way) would work nicely. I'm pretty sure my neighbor has neither of those yet and it would piss him off to no end if I had them in my yard first.
Look...I don't really think I'm being unreasonable here. Can I please...PLEASE...have another month or two before having Christmas and all its commercialism crammed down my throat? If it's simply too much to ask for...let me know. I'll be right across the street at Home Depot.
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