Merry Christmas Creep! Santa Is Everywhere In September

The Christmas Creep season is officially here, and Consumerist shutterbugs from Portland to Puerto Rico have been sending in photographic evidence. Get into the pre-pre-holiday shopping spirit with this photo album!
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  1. Onesnap says:

    Let me just say that when I was in Home Depot on Sunday I got nauseous just walking through the Christmas section. Here in New England fall is a fantastic time of year (mmm, cider donuts). The fact that the stores are already on Christmas when everyone is thinking Halloween (with distant thoughts of Thanksgiving) is crazy. Plus, the stores were stocked with Halloween candy in August which is just gross.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      nauseous is too generous a word when I walk into these stores and see x-mas sh%t.

      How pathetic is your meaningless existence if you actually shop for this crap now. And this in a country that was founded on premise of seperation of church and state. How freaking pathetic.

      The capitalist capitalization on this religious holiday is onething but for the average citizen to fall for and participate in this contrived ritual is even worse.

    • Dustbunny says:

      Mmmm…Halloween candy. I dunno, the thought of having those little marshmallow-y candy pumpkins in August actually sounds yummy.

    • zaku2s274 says:

      I guess it is all part of their plot to make sure customers buy the candy that is truly about to expire at a cheap price once Halloween is over. Less loss in profit?

  2. Mike says:

    I am one of the four billion people in the world that does not celebrate Christmas. I have to say that I tend to avoid retail outlets as Christmas rolls around because it is way out of hand.

  3. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    It’s creeping over the airwaves as well. A local mall here in KC has been doing radio advertising with the “get an early start on your holiday shopping!” message for a couple of weeks now.

  4. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    So, I need a new fake x-mas tree this year…..does early christmas creep mean I’ll be able to get a deal? Or, do I have to wait until AFTER christmas?

    I’ll gladly be “that guy” that buys a christmas tree in Sept./Oct. if it means I can get a deal…..especially for something that sits in storage for 11 months out of the year.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I kind of want to dress as Composite Santa Claus for Halloween but I think it’d be too much trouble.

    • RandomHookup says:

      You’ll probably get the best deals in mid-December when everyone else has soured on the holiday and they start their “post-Xmas” sales early.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t know the answer, but when we bought our tree years ago, we got a really good deal in early December and we saw an even better around mid to late December. It really depends on how much you can tolerate not having a tree, though. We didn’t want to wait until the week before Christmas to have a tree.

      Look for coupons because a lot of places like Lowes and Home Depot don’t put restrictions on their coupons for seasonal things. Also, don’t discount shopping online. Amazon may charge an oversize shipping fee but you might save more money that way.

  5. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I actually saw Christmas stuff in Kroger last time I was there (which prompted a bizarre dream). I found it odd considering Jo-Ann’s is still in Fall/Halloween mode for the most part.

  6. Dr.Wang says:

    The only thing worse than xmas creep are the creeps that make it profitable by buying from these displays in September. They are the cause of xmas creep.

    • watchwhathappens says:

      Unfortunately, you are correct. It’s the overzealous people who go “oooo, I can’t WAIT to get in the Christmas mood! Let me start buying now!” who perpetuate this.

      I was at a JC Penney last night that was completely decked out

    • Warble says:

      Yeah, who are these people anyway? I feel like everyone I know is the type who hates this shallow, stressful mockery of a holiday tradition, and clearly Consumerist readers are mostly the same way.

      On the other hand, anyone who would be excited about doing more Christmas shopping earlier probably wouldn’t be my friend.

  7. Nick says:

    Hey Consumerist, thanks for the photo album! Now I’m really in an effing Christmas mood. (Insert photo of slashed wrists here).

  8. CaptCynic says:

    Perhaps I’m just conditioned to accept this, but I don’t think the last week of September is unreasonable to move out Christmas stuff. Mid-June is too early, but by the end of September, It doesn’t bother me that much. If you disagree, when, exactly is it appropriate? Most people I know decorate their homes for Christmas pretty soon after Thanksgiving, so having it out before then is pretty much a necessity.

    • ssm316 says:

      I can’t get into the spirit when there’s still lawn furniture and back to school stuff with the Halloween and Christmas stuff. Then again I did shop at k-mart

    • Maous says:

      I’m personally a fan of the week of/after Thanksgiving arrival of Christmas Creep. It seems a little silly to have decorations up when it’s not even Halloween yet.

    • Warble says:

      If this was simply the way things had always been, people wouldn’t complain. But do you remember when stores waited, at the very least, until after Halloween to bring out the Christmas stuff? Many stores waited until Black Friday. This was ONLY TEN YEARS AGO.

      And from another perspective, do you actually think that the Christmas season is only too long once it’s actually a full half of the year?

      • ldub says:

        When I was young, you didn’t see anything in public out until after Thanksgiving. It was kind of a special event and I can remember my mom and aunts talking at the Thanksgiving Day table about the different stores and what the displays would look like that weekend.

    • ldub says:

      Back in the “olden days”, and by that I mean pre WWI when we were much more agrarian, people didn’t decorate much until Christmas Eve – your kids woke up to a decorated tree with presents underneath it. And Christmas Day commenced 12 days of celebrating, family visits, churchgoing, special meals, etc… That has turned into months of preparation for one frenzied day that is over before it even started. It’s sick.
      My family has been doing little things to ‘stretch out’ the holiday a bit more and actually take the time to think about the reason for the season, so to speak. We got off the merry-go-round a few years ago and are finding it much more enjoyable.

  9. johnrhoward says:

    Presumably, the stores do this because people will buy the stuff. They’re out to make money, and if no one is buying the stuff this early, they wouldn’t sell it this early. Now, I can’t really understand why anyone would want to buy a Christmas tree right now, but I also can’t understand why so many people are so offended that someone else wants to buy a Christmas tree right now. If you’re so fragile that you get upset because you have to see a Christmas display too early, then maybe you have some other issues that you need to address.

    • ldub says:

      It’s not about being “fragile”, it’s about culture and traditions and symbols which carry very old, established meanings for people. There are reasons why lots of cultures around the world have some sort of “festival of light” at the darkest time of the solar year. Having these different symbols and traditions paraded out months out of sync is gross and discordant.
      If you’re so numbed out and disconnected from the seasons and larger cultural traditions and mores that you don’t give a crap, maybe you are the one with the problem.

  10. dreamfish says:

    You’re all just a load of bah humbugs.

  11. moyawyvern says:

    It is getting earlier every year. I work in retail, and we are getting Christmas product an average of 2-4 weeks earlier than last year, and last year it was out before Halloween. The store I work in is not quite as bad as some of the ones listed, but it is getting there. And I don’t celebrate Christmas anymore, so it is pretty much torture for me. I am sure the Christmas music will start up in the next few weeks. Ugh.

    • Charmander says:

      Same here.

      I work in retail too, and we have both Halloween merchandise and Christmas merchandise in our seasonal area at the same time. It’s weird.

  12. luftmenschPhil says:

    Well, in the Baltimore-NY corridor, the Xmas shopping season officially begins the day after Yom Kippur.

  13. StrangeEmily says:

    Don’t these people have anything better to whine about? Like Walmart asking to see your ID if you use a Mastercard?
    Seriously… Hollidays in Retail have began in August for YEARS. I’m so so sorry that you all have to whine when you see their stock out on the shelves because the store doesn’t have enough room in their stockroom for all the Holliday stuff along with the other stuff you WANT to buy later… supply and demand people.
    If you people keep crying pretty soon retail stores are going to take it to heart and only put things up on the date that you like which means there won’t be enough Thanksgiving stuff in stock because the Halloween stuff is filling up the shelves in the stockroom beyond capacaty, and then because of that you won’t be able to get that Christmas sale item you wanted so bad from the sales flyer because there wasn’t any room left in the stockroom at all after that.
    I know how to fix this though, all we need to do is get the retail stores to put their stock inside the store instead of the stockroom EARLY so they can have enough seasonal products to keep the comsumer happy… oh wait!

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      But do we need any of the stuff these stores sell, really. The contrived krass commercialism of all the holidays has us forgetting what most holidays are about wether it’s the true religious meaning or remembering the battles and fallen of this nation.

      Yes Walmart id issues are important but there are so many battles to pick from at this point if you don’t catch it now you be able to catch it later.

  14. Ragman says:

    Seems to me that it didn’t start until after Labor Day this year. Still too early, but at least they backed off a little.

  15. Max5695 says:

    Today I saw an entire aisle in my local Rite Aid that had Christmas decorations. They even had mini plastic trees. They also had another aisle that featured Halloween decor.

  16. ldub says:

    OMG. This is my all-time biggest pet peeve. It’s DISGUSTING. They are making it harder and harder for people to just stay in the present and enjoy whatever season or holiday is actually taking place.
    I’m so glad I can do almost all our shopping online so I don’t have to deal with this crap as much as in the past. It’s sick.

  17. Silverhawk says:

    Do you get prizes for submitting a photo for the earliest Christmas Creep? I wish I had paid better attention, because I noticed a local store had their displays out in JULY. Yeah, Christmas in July. Unreal. No, I don’t remember the store, just the fact that they had Christmas stuff out, because of the association with the month, which I’m sure was intentional on their part.

  18. Bohemian says:

    I have come to absolutely loathe Christmas so having it all start showing up earlier just makes it worse. Soon the loud obnoxious holiday music will be cranked in all the stores. People will start driving like maniacs around the mall and lose any sense of civility. I can’t even avoid it at the one grocery chain we have left in town. The let the bell ringers hound people out front. I usually don’t have to go into hiding until after Halloween. Last year I stockpiled supplies at the house the weekend after Halloween to cut down on needed or long trips to the stores. It helped but I still had to go out for milk and such.

  19. Charmander says:

    Hey, where’s that poster who chimes in every year to proclaim THERE IS NO CHRISTMAS CREEP!

    I kind of miss that guy.

  20. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    I understand that people who celebrate Christmas, of which I am one, like to have a tree and to have other decorations, but how MUCH money are people spending on this? It must be a very large amount if retailers are putting out all this stuff so early. When I was a kid we had a tree with a string of lights, some tinsel, and a few ornaments on it, and a handmade wreath. That was it. And we put the tree and wreath up about 5 days before Christmas and took it down a couple of days later. Today people seem to have Christmas stuff all over their house for more than a month.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Even though we have everything we need to put up a tree, I think everyone replaces ornaments and broken lights every year, or start new like we did a few years ago (moved out of parents’ house, they kept the tree). Maybe that’s enough to justify it.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        I was talking to my boyfriend about this the other day and he figures that the decorating stuff is so cheap that for some people it’s cheaper to buy new ones every year than to put it in storage.

  21. ConsumerDollars says:

    Should have taken a picture when I was in Katy, TX at the beginning of the month, 9/5 and Christmas was being unpacked at the local ACE Hardware Store!

  22. Boo LaRue says:

    Oh how I wish I had taken pictures of the Christmas stuff when they started putting it up at my local Cracker Barrel — at the end of AUGUST!

  23. Jade says:

    I actually went to Stop&Shop in late June to grab candy for a party and there was a full aisle of Halloween decorations and candy. On the other side was a few fall decorations and Thanksgiving pieces. Then in September they put out Christmas stuff! I know people who buy their GIFTS early but not decorations and candy. The local drugstore has marshmallow Santa’s! Why do they do this??