Now Available At Hobby Lobby: Christmas Trees?

Why is Hobby Lobby selling Christmas Trees in August? WHY?! We can understand the tinsel and countdowns, maybe, but !@$% Christmas trees? This picture comes from Hutchinson, Kansas where it will be 92 degrees on Friday. We called Hobby Lobby for an explanation…

A disarmingly unseasonal saleswoman explained that all Hobby Lobby locations now sell Christmas trees. They’re not real, because real trees die after one month, nature’s way of telling you to slow down and appreciate Thanksgiving. The saleswoman found nothing wrong with the new arrivals, and thought it was “great” that the trees were finally available in August. Reader Justin disagrees:

From a store I’ve never heard of called “Hobby Lobby” in the small town of Hutchinson, Kansas. This picture was taken on August 12th. Seeing the Christmas trees this early literally made me sick to my stomach.

Christmas is over four months away—126 days and counting—something we’re going to remember and appreciate tomorrow as we relax on a hot sunny beach.

Comments

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  1. ct_price says:

    I am contacting my family this week to let them know that I am officially finished with celebrating Christmas.

  2. Rippleeffect says:

    This just make people appreciate Christmas even less than they do now. You can only keep that holiday spirit for so long.

  3. chiieddy says:

    Makes me glad to be Jewish.
    Until they start trying to sell Hanukkah bushes.

  4. rpm773 says:

    In the post earlier this week, I agreed with those that said that hobby/craft stores get a pass due to the fact that Xmas hobbies and crafts take time to make.

    However, this changes things. You’ve screwed the wrong guy, Hobby Lobby!

  5. Please someone tell me this is a photoshopped pic. I think Ben & Co. are pulling our legs.

  6. This must be a new store b/c I went to HCC in the early ‘OOs and we didn’t have no stinkin’ Hobby Lobby that I can remember! I could have decorated my dorm room on the cheap!

  7. coan_net says:

    Well the only thing I can say is if people are buying them… then why not sell them?

    …. since I would think if no one is buying them yet, then the stores will stop selling them so early – but I would guess some are buying them which is why a store would sell them.

    Myself – I’m no where near buying Christmas decorations – but then again, if I come across a good Christmas gift for someone now – I will buy it and hold onto it until then.

  8. kaptainkk says:

    I can’t imagine that stores would be putting this stuff out so early if it didn’t sell. I want to know who the fuck buys a Christmas tree in August?! Whoever they are, someone needs to slap some sense into them!

  9. MercuryPDX says:

    @chiieddy: The Michael’s by me did last year. Blue and white lights with gold dreidel ornaments topped off with a Menorah. My friend asked “Why would they make a Jewish themed Christmas tree?”, and I told her “So they can call it a ‘Hanukkah bush’ and double their customer base.”

    I’ll keep an eye (and camera) out for it when we go next week, I’m sure they’re decking the halls at this point too.

  10. avantartist says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: yes this is a photoshopped picture… “seriously?” does not grow on trees.

  11. smirky says:

    A few years ago I started a part time job at Hobby Lobby in May. They were just beginning to put out the christmas crap. It was just plain crazy working there with all of the holiday decorations throughout the summer.

  12. Myotheralt says:

    I would only buy christmas trees this early if Billy Mays was selling them.

  13. ChuckECheese says:

    To the OP: Hobby Lobby is not a store that many people have never heard of. It’s a chain with about 400 locations and over $2B in sales last year. And when you tire of looking at asherah poles in August, head on over to Hobby Lobby’s retail sibling Mardel Christian Bookstore, which is like a Hobby Lobby with bibles. Ah, the anti-charms of Oklahoma City!

  14. scoobydoo says:

    Isn’t Hobby Lobby the chain that is not open on Sunday so their staff can go to Church? But they don’t have a problem pushing Christmas trees in the middle of summer?

    Talk about hypocrisy…

  15. weakdome says:

    2 X-ms crp strs ths wk lrdy… thnk th rl crm hr s tht w prbbly hv t rd ths fr n xtr mnth nw, r ntl smn ctlly gts sck f rlzng tht Chrstms s cmng nywy, rgrdlss f hw rly w strt nnncng t.

  16. @ChuckECheese: I got a $50 gift card to Mardel’s 2 years ago. I am not religious. Worst.present.ever.

  17. newfenoix says:

    Christmas hasn’t meant anything to me for a long time. I hate watching people become demented psychopaths rushing trying to buy the latest wiz-bang gizmo to make their kids happy. Christmas stopped being a time for family closeness years ago. All it is now is retail’s wet dream.

  18. mitchelwb says:

    I guess I get it if you want to make fun of stores for already starting to put the christmas stuff out… but on a consumer blog? I don’t see how it’s hurting the consumer. How many times have you needed something for a totally non-holiday project, and you can’t get what you need because the time isn’t right. Here’s a great example. Lowe’s sells a plastic insert that you can put into a lawn bag that will hold it open. Except, they only sell it in the fall. Why? because that’s when people put leafs in bags. I guess nobody ever needs to put anything else in a lawn bad the rest of the year. It’s the same idea. How many charities host Christmas in July type parties? Like everyone else said… if nobody buys it, they won’t put it out… but even if they do, consider yourself lucky to have the ability to buy what you need when you need it, even if you’re the only person in the world who needs it right now.

  19. newfenoix says:

    @ChuckECheese: Several years ago the manager of the Hobby Lobby in Hot Springs squashed himself in the box crusher. It was a major mess

  20. ohiomensch says:

    You can buy Christmas stuff 364 days a year in Frankenmuth! (I think they are closed Christmas Day)

  21. Sevarious says:

    The Christmas season is obviously entering its log phase of expansion. Next year the decorations will be out at the fourth of July right there with the flags and fireworks. A few years later all that will remain unChristmasfied will be about 10 days in January.

    Seriously, I remember when Christmas started the day after Halloween. God I’m old.

  22. MissPeacock says:

    @scoobydoo: It is. They only play religious music in the store as well. If that’s what they want to do, I don’t care. They have the best sales in the world. Pretty much everything in the store is 50% off at least one week out of the month.

  23. julieannie says:

    My Hobby Lobby had them just after July 4th. I was hoping to maybe get some Easter items on clearance but instead I found Christmas trees and cornucopias.

  24. lauy says:

    @ scoobydoo:

    You are correct! They even have it emblazoned on their doors that they are proudly closed on Sundays so their staff can spend time with their families and for worship…

    On a side note, many stores get their Halloween candy in June. However, Hobby Lobby has probably been stocking it since Easter (or should I say the day before)…LOL

  25. NYGal81 says:

    On a somewhat related note, I was stopped in my tracks yesterday by a whole shelf of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins. My first thought? “Ummm…it’s August? Did I miss something?” The over-commercialization of holidays/events generally gets my hackles up, so I’ll steer clear of Hobby Lobby lest I go on an anti-holiday tree-pushing-over spree. The earliest Christmas starts in my book is the day after Thanksgiving. No Christmas music, decor, cards, etc. until then at *least*. I guess I’m old fashioned.

  26. annelise13 says:

    Hobby Lobby has been doing this for years. I always assumed that since they needed to roll out the crafting stuff early (as mentioned above, so projects can be finished in time), they just put out all the Christmas stuff at once. It’s probably more efficient, even though it kinda freaks me out every year.

    What this means for me is that it’s time to head over and check out the lawn ornaments. Should be at least 66% off by now to make room for all those trees!

  27. SkokieGuy says:

    Where are the smart Christian marketers to start promoting year-round Christmas. If you take down your decorations, you just don’t “support” Christmas.

    Kind of like how if you don’t “Support the troops” you are unpatriotic.

    I can see it now.

    Betty, did you see the Johnson’s house? They took all their decorations down? I guess the birth of Jesus just isn’t that important to them.

    Is anyone else just appalled and saddened by the inflatable Creche scenes? It’s got a fan and motor that keep an inflatable stable lit up and plump, right down to the inflatable Jesus.

  28. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @avantartist:

    seriously?” does not grow on trees.

  29. dulcinea47 says:

    If you are going to do a xmas themed craft project, and want to have it actually done by xmas, you DO need to have the stuff available by September at the latest. People do do things like spend three months making Santa candle holders for everyone they know.

  30. Bladefist says:

    Hobby Lobby is prevalent in Missouri/kansas. The owner is very very Christian (she even closes the store on sunday) and that probably explains why. It’s probably less for money, more for her appreciate of Christ.

    I’m not saying it ain’t crazy, it is, but just some insight.

  31. Tank says:

    @scoobydoo: they make up for the lost 52 days of revenue by offering christmas trees early.

  32. xipander says:

    My wife works at a hobby lobby here in Jacksonville, FL. They have a whole section devoted to “seasonal”… which is apparently every season. They have thanksgiving, as well as halloween and christmas items up already. They have some trees up, but the corporate tree fluffer hasn’t been to there store yet to make sure the trees are fluffed. I think they put them up so early, beacuse they go on sale up to 50 – 60% off even before christmas.

  33. tracilyns says:

    am i the only one who doesn’t think it’s odd for a craft store to sell holiday stuff early? lots of people are into holiday crafts and start in the early fall so there’s plenty of time to get them done by festivus.

  34. Nighthawke says:

    “Finally available in August”??

    I think this gal has been sniffing too much glue or participating in too many meetings.

  35. picardia says:

    @tracilyns: ITA about this generally — if you’re going to, I don’t know, handpaint your own creche scene, you probably want to start before Nov. 30. On the other hand, I don’t understand the Christmas-trees thing. There’s really no point in that; even if you decorate your tree more elaborately than most, there’s no way it takes three months.

  36. matt1978 says:

    @scoobydoo: I would really love to hear your explanation on how one relates to the other.

  37. PhineasSkylark says:

    I worked at Hobby Lobby for a couple of years and believe me, none of the
    employees are wild about the Christmas stuff appearing in the store this
    early (it actually begins shipping into each store’s warehouse around March
    so by August it’s pretty crowded in there). However, as in most cases – the
    simplest explanation is correct – you wouldn’t believe how many people buy
    ornaments, lights, ribbons, garlands, AND trees faster than we could get
    them onto the shelves. Just a side note – ornaments usually start to appear
    on the counters in Hobby Lobby around July and people actually pick through
    the boxes and baskets as we’re putting them out on display – faster than we
    can get them onto the shelves. Everyone likes to complain about this trend,
    but the truth is the only way to stop it is for consumers to stop buying it.
    If the stores put this merchandise out in July or August and it just sat on
    the shelves without moving for months until after Halloween…they would
    stop putting it out so early and focus on something else. I don’t see
    anything hypocritical about this whatsoever – what does marketing to
    consumer demands have to do with whether or not the company is closed on
    Sundays? Who do you think is buying all this Christmas stuff anyway? As a
    Christian, it was nice to work for a company who takes that into account. I
    was turned down for half-a-dozen jobs before I worked there because I
    refused to work on Sunday mornings. Besides, if you think it’s bad to visit
    the store once a month (once a week, whatever) just imagine how sick of
    Christmas all the employees get after seeing it basically every day for 6
    months or more?? Bottom line – it sucks but I don’t see anything changing
    in the near future…so deal with it.

    Audrey Raines
    Traffic Manager
    Cumulus Media, Huntsville
    WVNN/WZYP/WHRP/WUMP/WWFF
    (256) 830-8300 – phone
    (256) 232-6842 – fax

  38. Whitey Fisk says:

    @tracilyns:

    No, you’re not crazy. I was in Traverse City, MI in June and one of the shops there was chock-full of Christmas stuff, because that’s primarily what they sold. There is a distinct difference between a store that sells holiday items (for all holidays) and, say, Target clearing out aisles in September for Xmas wrapping paper and decorations.

  39. dragonfire81 says:

    I’ve spent most of my life in Canada (I live in the U.S. now). Up north christmas tree could be seen in most stores by around mid september, just after the back to school sales were done.

  40. Pizza_Guy says:

    @matt1978: They relate to each other because if Hobby Lobby is such a fine christian organization they shouldn’t be commercializing christmas to this degree by selling trees 4 months before christmas.

  41. dwarf74 says:

    I hate to be a naysayer here, but I have no problem with craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby getting into the Christmas spirit a bit early.

    If you want to give handmade crafts as Christmas presents, you probably need to get started now.

    With that said…. yeah, Christmas trees are a bit much…

  42. Quilt says:

    If they’re fake trees, I guess it’s not so bad. The big display is a bit much though. For being so early in the year though, I would be expecting to see some type of discount.

  43. NYGal81 says:

    @tracilyns: I get the crafty part of it. You need cardstock, stamps, flowers, garland etc., to do many time consuming craft projects. OK there. What kind of craft are you doing with a full sized fake tree? It seems to me like you can have the crafty part without the “store full of fully-decorated display trees” part.

  44. quirkyrachel says:

    Well, Hobby Lobby is a Christian company…maybe they’re pushing x-mas this year? They also carry a pretty good line of yarns. :)

  45. TideGuy says:

    @avantartist:

    Hilarious

  46. Nighthawke says:

    @TinyBug: That’s a hoot!

  47. typetive says:

    I don’t get it. It’s a store and they put out stuff to sell it. If no one buys them now, maybe they’ll be on awesome sale by the beginning of December!

    (And yes, hobby stores sell them early … also, you can order them from catalogs … if you work for a company that wants to have Christmas decorations sometimes you have to start the paperwork early to get approvals.)

    Really, stores wouldn’t put this stuff out early unless SOMEONE was buying it. So throw your hate towards those people.

  48. floraposte says:

    We’ve got a Prairie Gardens around here; it’s a chain that part nursery, part crafts. They started taking out garden stuff to make room for Christmas trees and accessories about three weeks ago, as I found out when I went to look for trellis. Because who would be gardening in summer when they could plan their Christmas tree?

  49. nidolke says:

    I do my part by no longer buying Christmas gifts anymore. Take that consumerism!

  50. MadameX says:

    My brother-in-law is a Manager for Hobby Lobby. I do give them a waiver on the early Christmas stuff because they’re primarily a craft store and they have to get the stuff out there early for the crafters. It is indeed much more efficient to put all the Christmas stuff out at once, rather than bring out just the ornament kits and what-not without the trees. My sister still thinks it’s ridiculous.

    And yeah, they have great sales. Combine that with the employee discount from the in-law and the stuff is downright cheap.

  51. Tzepish says:

    Hmm… I’m having trouble seeing how “Christmas time” can be at all special, considering it’s apparently 1/3rd of all time-existence. According to these retailers, 33% of the time it’s Christmas time.

    Kind of like working 8 hours a day – I don’t consider that special or worth celebrating.

  52. Boulderite says:

    Hobby Lobby has been doing this for a while now. Michaels will have stuff soon too. And after back to school is over at Target they will go to Halloween decorations and then Christmas.

  53. captainpicard says:

    @scoobydoo:

    I don’t see the hypocrisy.

    How does selling christmas merchandise in august and closing for sunday’s to allow your employees time to worship & spend time with your family. If anything it is the opposite of hypocrisy.

    Hobby Lobby is a specialty store (think of it as a big box craft store) so it really isn’t a problem that they have christmas merchandise up. They probably also have thanksgiving merchandise up as well. The old time pottery by my house (cincinnati area) has christmas merchandise up early and for months past christmas each year.

  54. milk says:

    I don’t understand why anyone gives a shit whether xmas trees are available or not. We’ve got the Famous Christmas Store that is nothing but xmas crap, so there.

  55. anibundel says:

    Maybe your hobby is Christmas?

  56. Con Seannery says:

    Oh, but they won’t sell my Festivus pole this early?

    Props to Nighthawke for the reference. I think it’s time for the airing of grievances.

  57. EBounding says:

    I think Bronner’s has everything beat:

    [www.bronners.com]

  58. Marshfield says:

    By skipping directly to Christmas, Hobby Lobby is missing out on the seasonal sales for Halloween and Thanksgiving fall merchandise.

    Or they just have a LOT of sales floor space and not enough warehouse space.

    I used to work for a giftware/seasonal decor wholesaler, and they used to offer free shipping and other deals if customers would take early delivery of the fall and christmas orders, just to keep the shipping line busy all year long. So perhaps this is fallout from THAT.

  59. flipx says:

    I realize that your economy sucking donkey balls big time right now but is it that bad the Christmas rush has to start now? Christmas then Thanksgiving maybe when you get your new Commander and Chief he can get it back on track.Seems that all is not lost you do have a lot in gold… swimming metals. Con grats!

  60. admiral_stabbin says:

    Maybe by selling them off-season they’re available at a big discount? I mean…August or not…if it costs me half as much…all the more reason to be thankful. ;-)

  61. verdantpine says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: Nope, it’s not. Last weekend, we visited Hobby Lobby for the first time and they were putting up all of their Christmas items.

    Here’s a great article from the Wharton Business School about “Christmas creep” – though they note that it has to do with “September” being the start date. [knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu]

    EBounding: Bronners! Yay. It’s a lot of fun to visit in the hot months, and close to all the fun in Frankenmuth.

  62. verdantpine says:

    Oh, one other thing we noticed. There were plenty of pumpkin and fall items up (many of them on sale). As we checked out, we realized that not a single item in the store said “Halloween” on it, just “Harvest” and so on. Seems like they might be pandering to the minority who unfairly fear the holiday.

  63. Starfury says:

    If I didn’t have kids (8 and 10) I’d just skip Christmas. This year I will be controlling the pocketbook when it comes to buying gifts and there will be a cash only budget. All gone? Gifts to buy? Return something and get 2 smaller gifts; maybe just give a card to someone. It always seems the budget is X and ends up being several hundred more than that.

  64. Smackdown says:

    I hate to be That Guy, but I’m actually kind of excited, because this reminds me to get a prelit tree for the front room before the crazy preseason markups are out of hand.

  65. Oxzimmaron says:

    Maybe we were ahead of our time up here in the rust belt of NE Pennsylvania, because I clearly remember seeing Christmas tree displays, fully decorated, in department stores (remember them?), in August, more than thirty years ago.

    Oh, and thanks to everybody for the heads-up on Hobby Lobby. I had been hoping for one to open here, but if they are the kind of people who hate and fear Halloween, they won’t be getting any of my heathen money!

  66. iCanhasLs2plz says:

    @newfenoix:

    Pics of said squashing plz. Thanks.

  67. LoganAdams says:

    I drive through Sioux Falls, S.D., a few times every year on Interstate 29 to visit my family in Kansas. On the Insterstate (I want to say near exit 77) there is a sign pointing to a year-round Christmas store that never stops selling the Christmas goods. I’ve never pulled off to see if it’s for real or still in business, and I don’t plan to. I’ve got better things to do when I’m driving through Sioux Falls, like try to get the hell out of South Dakota.

  68. HogwartsAlum says:

    @scoobydoo:

    Yes, this is the one. On Sundays I have to go to Michael’s.

    I like to call it “Snobby Lobby” because the one on the north side of town is full of snotty associates.

    The south side one is better.

  69. Major-General says:

    @madamdalriada: It’s at the Hutchinson Mall. And it was there in 1999 when I went to school in McPherson.

    @kaptainkk: One word: the elderly. Ok, two words. But I was once told by a store manager that put out the holiday stuff early that their elderly customers liked being able to buy Christmas supplies slowly, instead of all at once.

    @ChuckECheese: Ahh, the charms of a craft store better than Micheal’s. Hobby Lobby and Braums being two of the things I miss most about living in Oklahoma, now that I’m stuck in California.

    @scoobydoo: Quomodo?

    @tracilyns: No, you’re not.

  70. HogwartsAlum says:

    @Major-General:

    “…I’m stuck in California.”

    Trade ya.

    Love,
    Stuck in Missouri

  71. marchhare22 says:

    @MissPeacock: I used to work at hob lob. They do 50% off because they mark up the price tags 100% after purchase. So the dolts who come in and buy things at full value they just made a 100% profit. Even in a 50% off sale they still make a 50% profit and get rid of useless merchandise only people with no taste would buy anyways.

  72. MercuryPDX says:

    @Con Seannery: Festivus Pole? Head down to yon Home Depot or Lowe’s posthaste. Everyday is Festivus there.

  73. MercuryPDX says:

    @Starfury: It’s heavenly. I actually flip a coin to decide if I’m going to bother to put lights up outside.

  74. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Just go into Costco the day after Labor Day, Sept. 2 this year & they’ll have all sorts of Xmas stuff out there.
    Granted, much of it is geared to sell to smaller stores for their own decorating, but every year, it’s the same thing.

  75. bohemian says:

    Hobby Lobby probably jumps straight from Vacation Bible School season (summer) right into Christmas because they have been phasing out Halloween more every year. I am sure this all has something to do with them being owned by Dominionist Christians. Ours has slowly become the creepy christian craft store of sub standard Chinese imports. I finally looked up Hobby Lobby, found out about the religious association and no longer shop there unless I can’t find a specific art supply anywhere else (so basically never).

  76. adam_w says:

    I bought artificial trees for a different chain for 8 years. There are 2 (main) reasons that retailers buy Christmas seasonal goods early:

    1. There are surprisingly very few factories that produce this type of stuff at any sort of decent quality. They’re booked solid all of the time. If you need a large run (like HL and their 400 stores do), you MUST order and ship very early.

    2. Some factories give additional discounts if you order and ship VERY early, because they can buy raw materials in the off season, keep workers busy, etc, etc.

  77. JoseRZ says:

    Like many of you out their say Christmas stuff at a hobby store is okay this early. If you sell crafts during the Christmas season then you have to start early. It takes time to make crafts. Christmas creep only counts for non craft stores.

    @Marshfield: The hobby lobby in my town has enough room for Christmas, Halloween, and thanksgiving decor out all at once.

  78. axylfyre says:

    They’ve been up a good month at least in the Waco, Tx store.

  79. nerdychaz says:

    But, But, But, -.-

    wasn’t it just X-mas in July?

  80. sporks says:

    @madamdalriada:
    Hutchinson Mall. It’s getting bigger now, which is pretty much the only store it’s got going for it.

    I haven’t been into the store in question for a few months now (not since June, when the area that the trees are surely occupying now was filled with VBS things) but it’s not uncommon for them to be up in July, and it surprises me that they were this late in getting them up this year.

    Any other Hutch consumerists wanna go in and buy some ornaments some saturday?

  81. @Sevarious:

    You are not old.

  82. SkyeBlue says:

    Maybe they will have their “Christmas Clearance Sale” in October, just about the time they start stocking the store with Easter decoations.

  83. nsv says:

    I’ve got to get started on crafting some Easter baskets. Anyone know where I can get some hollow chocolate bunnies and plastic multicolored eggs?

  84. dantsea says:

    Perhaps it’s cheaper to order and ship fake Christmas trees from the distributor in August? Also, it’s CRAFTS STORE and the reasons for carrying holiday merchandise year round has been explained. Exhaustively. Across at least two posts.

  85. AgentTuttle says:

    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!
    Consumers for Christ!

  86. DantePD says:

    Oh…honey…they had the ornaments up late July.

  87. mdoublej says:

    We have a Christmas Tree Shop here that’s open all year!

  88. serreca says:

    If seeing Christmas trees in August literally makes you sick to your stomach, I think you have it pretty good.

    All this Christmas Creep crap (ha!) is such an overreaction. Nobody’s forcing you to buy it. I don’t see what’s so offensive about it. Is it ridiculous? Yes. I don’t get all the ire, though.

  89. @avantartist: LOL.

  90. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @adam_w: Oh, well that makes sense.

  91. neoflux says:

    they just put one of these in by me in ohio. looks like it’s going to be an interesting store to save the least. what’s next after xmas in summer? swim suits in december?

  92. spideyman says:

    I was at Sam’s Club last night, (8-21-08) and they have large packages of Christmas Ornaments out already. It gets earlier and earlier each year!!

  93. ryaninc says:

    What the heck is wrong with all you people? Let them sell the products they want whenever they want. If people are willing to buy the products, let them sell! Seriously, there are articles about “Christmas already!” every single year. Get over yourselves.

  94. Anonymous says:

    So many sad/mad people in this world. Christmas is about our Savior and whether you like the merchandising or not doesn’t change that. Buck up, people and leave the stores alone to do their thing(s). Everyone knows that the commercial side of Christmas has gone the way of all things but this doesn’t alter the real meaning of the celebration one iota. If you don’t like it, don’t go in there. For me, I watch Christmas build in Hobby Lobby all year and enjoy seeing evidence of the coming season no matter how early.