This Garden Ridge Christmas Display Is Obscenely Unseasonal

We thought Hobby Lobby’s August Christmas trees might be the height of this season’s Christmas Creep, but wow were we wrong. Garden Ridge is striving to be a one-stop panacea for all your summer Christmas needs. They’re already stocking Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, snowy yard inflatables, and what looks like a snow toboggan complete with Tigger, Winnie The Pooh, and everybody’s favorite Christmas downer, Eeyore!

Tipster Rex spotted the summer yuletide display in Oklahoma City.

About 10 days ago we were buying some crap at Garden Ridge. Seasonally correct crap, stuff for summer use. The place is being set up for full on Christmas sales. Notice the Christmas trees, yard inflatables and a whole collection of ornaments and toys.

You should have seen the staff they had decorating trees and stocking shelves.

This image was taken August 13, 2008.

It’s completely stupid right?!

It’s not completely stupid. That yard inflatable is the perfect place to escape the 94 degree scorcher expected to grace Oklahoma today.

Comments

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  1. jdame95 says:

    I think that I could chalk this up to a store thats being used as a prototype store for other Hobby Lobby’s to show the proper setup of the christmas area. Its a pretty common retail practice this time of year. Of course if this isnt the case, then its pure madness

  2. dizzie386 says:

    Sometimes, I wonder what happened to Halloween…

  3. mariospants says:

    I’m beginning to think that some of these craft stores don’t actually take down their xmas section at all, they just make it larger as the year gets closer to xmas.

    Noticed that last week, there were still some plantable garden flowers at Costco. This week? They’re gone but in their place (so to speak) are xmas decorations…

    WAAAAAAY too soon, in my opinion. I hate it. I second dizzie386: Halloween? Thanksgiving? Hello??!?

  4. AgentTuttle says:

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

  5. scootinger says:

    @jdame95:

    actually this is a Garden Ridge store, which isn’t affiliated with Hobby Lobby. and to my knowledge there is only one Garden Ridge in OKC (I live there), so I don’t think it would be that.

  6. Dyscord says:

    I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t really care if I go somewhere and see Christmas stuff at this point. Maybe people want to get their stuff early. It’s not like there isn’t going to be any Halloween or Thanksgiving stuff up, but think about it. How often do you buy decorations for Halloween or Thanksgiving? I don’t know of many people that decorate for thanksgiving or halloween.

  7. Tejas says:

    i saw a sign today – “Only 18 weeks to christmas – order your ham now!”. i think i’ll take a pic and send it in

  8. badhatharry says:

    Isn’t, like, Eastern Orthodox Christmas, or Jewish Christmas coming up? Maybe this is for that. Maybe like a Festivus Christmas?

  9. msbask says:

    My daughter works in a local card/party store and they just put out their ‘boxed’ Christmas cards. When I asked her why they started so early, she said it’s because people are already asking for them.

    Go figure.

  10. lingum says:

    It won’t be too long before these stores are the only places left that Christmas stuff is allowed to be displayed.

  11. @msbask: If you actually have your Christmas cards signed, stamped and ready to go by Labor Day? I don’t want to know you.

  12. lore says:

    Christmas season is the retailer’s “end all, be all” sales season. If they can bring it forward to August, hey, why not – they might just be able to float during this down economy.

  13. Tejas says:

    @msbask: & @Charity Froggenhall: i live in australia – i send many christmas cards to friends and family in north america and parts of europe. for some of them i need to send by the start of september for them to get there by christmas.

  14. bkpatt says:

    @Tejas: Are you saying it takes, as a normal route, a standard postal letter 4 MONTHS to get from Australia to the US?

    I’ve sent stuff to and received from Australia, via normal class mail, and NEVER heard of it taking this long. Several weeks yes, several MONTHS never.

  15. timmus says:

    Of course, nothing says Merry Christmas like cheap plastic “Made in China” crap.

    Man, I hope I can get that slogan to catch on. Imagine if people began avoiding the stuff.

  16. catskyfire says:

    I understand the retailers need for the ‘Christmas boom’, however they need to remember that part of the reason the boom existed was that it was a short period of time. If you stretch it out to November, October, September, and now August…you don’t get the boom. You get some extra sales in advance, but you won’t get that rush. Worse, the true advantage to the boom was that people would buy things at full price, more or less. If you’re buying stuff three months earlier, you’re not going to pay full price unless you are really, truly, dumb.

  17. seismic007 says:

    Digging through my old emails I realized that I just didn’t get the memo. I got the “white is the new black, and 40 is the new 30″ memo; I didn’t get the Halloween is the new Christmas memo! These aren’t Christmas decorations, they are the new ‘style’ of Halloween decorations! Kids will no longer await the Great Pumpkin, they’ll await the Great Santa Claus. Halloween trees will now replace the “so 1980’s” jack-o-lantern.

    Don’t be haters, Consumerist Readers–that is so 2007! Now, excuse me; I need to go color Valentine’s eggs.

  18. lore says:

    @catskyfire: Completely agreed – no one is saying it’s a good strategy, but it’s like the airlines charging for the first, second, and third bags. It’s temporary relief but it’s in no way going to keep them afloat in and of itself.

  19. bspero says:

    I’ll say this. Many of these craft stores do have regular consumers like you and me, but also have a lot of people buying stuff for other exhibits, like at malls, local Santa events, Christmas fairs, etc. This stuff needs to be planned ahead of time so that they are ready to go in October (which we can also argue is too early). Which is why there are places where this stuff is available in August. I’m not saying we don’t get going on the consumption highway for Christmas too early, just that there is a reason for these types of stores to put this stuff out. That doesn’t change the fact that I do still think this is ridiculous.

  20. TexasBelle says:

    @seismic007: Oh, goody! It’s The Nightmare Before Christmas!

  21. lincolnparadox says:

    I do most of my shopping for Xmas cards and decorations on December 26th, when everything is half price and most people are nowhere near the Holiday section.

    It’s become a tradition to hit Target in Niagara on Boxing Day.

  22. eveywiechert says:

    @dizzie386: Party City. I work there. It’s a bastion of non-Christmasy goodness.

  23. Tejas says:

    @bkpatt: no not to the USA – but i send to parts of russia, siberia and others in far flung mission fields and four months is minimum.

  24. Pipes says:

    @AgentTuttle: Oh man – a username AND a reference to my favorite movie ever? You win, sir!

  25. AgentTuttle says:

    @Pipes: Brazil is SOOOO relevant to our situation today huh?

  26. nicemarmot617 says:

    @msbask: It’s pathetic but true. I worked at a B&N that sold lots of boxed Christmas cards and little Christmas gifts. People started asking about them usually in September. At least the higherups at B&N didn’t force us to play Christmas music before Thanksgiving. That might have resulted in homicidal employees.

  27. axylfyre says:

    Dallas had these up the 1st week of August.

  28. waitaminute says:

    @seismic007: wait…. valentine’s eggs? did I miss something?

  29. kathyl says:

    I think that pointing the Christmas creep finger at craft stores is largely silly. Stores that sell crafting materials stock their Christmas stuff early because a lot of those items are pieces that people use to make items for their home or for gifts, and some of those projects take some time to complete.

    For instance, some people buy Christmas tree ball ornaments and hand-paint them or otherwise decorate them. Some people cross stitch things to display or give as gifts that are Christmas-themed. Some people knit or crochet things using traditional colors or patterns of Christmastime. A lot of people make their own holiday cards, and they need stamps or paper cutouts or any number of other holiday-type doodads to do it.

    And yes, I know the picture posted is of Christmas trees, but I see two reasons why crafting stores put it all out at the same time. 1) Why put out half of your holiday stuff early, the stuff people need to craft their gift and decoration items, and then the other half later? Who knows what someone’s going to consider a craft ingredient anyway? You might think it’s a finished item, and someone might come in asking for it because they want to use it in a craft. 2) When people are coming into your store to buy items they intend to use to craft for a certain holiday, they are already thinking of that holiday. Decorating the store to reflect that doesn’t seem that wacky, in my opinion.

    The people who manage these stores (I’m specifically talking about stores who have a large percentage of their merchandise in materials for craft projects, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby) don’t cater to people who come in once or twice a year. They cater to people who come in all the time all through the year because they buy craft materials there. Those stores decorate early for EVERY holiday, because the people coming into the store, a lot of times, think about those holidays ahead of time as well because they need lead time before the holidays hit to finish their craft projects.

    Maybe if you don’t craft this wouldn’t have occurred to you, but hopefully it makes at least a little bit of sense now. You might not be one of these people, but then you’re not in their target market. I think Michaels and Hobby Lobby and other stores should be exempt from the accusing finger of Christmas creep pointed at them. It’s just silly to be all exasperated with them for doing what a large contingent of their customer base wants them to do.

  30. Nick1693 says:

    The picture should say “No Ho Ho”

  31. bohemian says:

    Blech! Sams club is slowly starting the xmas creep too. I was in the nearby store Friday. They had big boxes of ornaments up right next to the boating flotation vests and bbq grills.

  32. muledoggie says:

    Why s ths cnsmr ss tht nds t b pntd t (mltpl tms) n cnsmr blg?

    Srry fr mssng th pnt.

    Ml

  33. SabyneWired says:

    @nicemarmot617: Yup, I used to work for B&N myself. Every year around late September, we had displays with boxed Christmas cards, gift wrap, gift books, etc. What scared me was the number of people stocking up on said things shortly after the displays were done. Color me old-fashioned, but I generally don’t start Christmas shopping until November unless I see something that I’m absolutely sure wouldn’t be there come November.

  34. dachuckyb says:

    Some of the Meijer stores already have the christmas stuff out.

  35. roguemarvel says:

    It could be that they got their stuff early and the manger wants everything they have in stock out. Remember stores sometimes order seasonal items months in advance to make sure they get enough of the top selling items.

    I know the clothing store I work at started working on our Halloween costume orders at the beginning of August. We got the first shipment last week and my manager waned them out asap to start selling and they already are.

    Better to have items out to sell to people who will buy early then let the items sit in he back gathering dust.

  36. Con Seannery says:

    They should never put up a seasonal item more than two months early. I can stand the start of Christmas sales in mid-October, it is still pretty early, but it’s better than this. I don’t know why it bothers me…juts does.

    I’ll give my Holiday Tree rant once it’s in season.

  37. mobilene says:

    I think I should apply for a job at the Garden Ridge that just opened near my house. I could use a low-stress job for a while, given that hardly anybody will be buying anything there for the next 2-3 months.

  38. Christ Sabo says:

    Wow … Garden Ridge on Consumerist!

    I worked there throughout high school (which was only a few years ago), and we got Christmas stuff there in spring. We would put out ornaments (I’m talking $14.99 ornaments) and people would still snap them up. That place was so sad to work at. Horrific.

  39. fizzyg says:

    I worked in an Old America for a while in college, and it amazed me how much of this stuff just sits in the warehouse-sized backroom during most of the year. I guess they figure if they have it they should put it out. These are also stores that target people who decorate for businesses and such, and so those people do their planning and purchasing early.

    I wonder too, if there’s some thought that since people are low on money this year that having things out longer will get those people who buy things little by little until the holidays to buy more stuff.

  40. DWalk says:

    Actually, August comes too late…

    My aunt- and uncle-in-law do a “Christmas in July”, and there’s never any Christmas crap in the stores to get us in the mood.

    Hmm… coincidence, or do I always seem to have something else to do on July 25?

  41. ATXconsumer says:

    I used to work at a garden ridge here in Austin. The primary reason people shop at Garden Ridge is for our Christmas, Halloween, and various smaller holiday decorations. Oh yeah,also patio furniture. Sure we have a bunch of party stuff and fake trees, but that stuff is minor in comparison to what is being moved. We would run out of product constantly. When a certain holiday accounts for nearly 40% of your gross profit, you want to sell more of it, and earlier.