(WFMZ.com)

City Is No Charlie Brown, Kicks Ugly Christmas Tree To The Curb

The opportunity to play the sad Christmas tree music from Charlie Brown in the context of an actual sad, ugly Christmas tree story doesn’t come around too often, but today is that day: The town of Reading, PA is ditching a tree deemed too pathetic and unseemly for the public eye in favor of a newer, more pleasing to the eye specimen. [More]

Starburst Introduces Christmas-Themed Jellybeans For Some Reason

Starburst Introduces Christmas-Themed Jellybeans For Some Reason

Here at Consumerist, we’re fascinated with holiday mashups: items that we associate with one holiday re-purposed for another, usually for marketing reasons. Items like pumpkin spice egg nog and Independence Day candy corn exist because the makers of candy corn and egg nog want to expand these festive treats out to other holidays. Now let’s welcome Christmas jelly beans to the holiday mashup fold. [More]

(Consumerist reader Lindsey)

When Is The Right Time For Santa Claus To Set Up Shop At The Mall?

There’s Christmas Creep, and then there’s showing up so early to the party that your guests aren’t even aware they’ve been invited yet. At least one mall in these United States has already ensconced the seasonal Santa Claus in his digs, surely giving some Christmas Creep curmudgeons out there a case of the grumbles. [More]

(WPTV.com)

Dillard’s Pulls Sign From Girls’ Department Asking Santa For A “Fat Bank Account” & “Slim Body”

Complaining about getting a fat body and a slim bank account for Christmas instead of vice versa sounds like something one might see in a Cathy cartoon ([sweat marks!] “Bikini season, ugh!” [sweat marks!] etc.) But for some reason, a Dillard’s department store decided to display that joke on a decorative sign posted in the Girls section of the stores, asking Santa to please bring a “fat bank account” and slim body. [More]

Amazon Building Warehouses Everywhere, Hopes Christmas Gifts Actually Arrive By Christmas

Amazon Building Warehouses Everywhere, Hopes Christmas Gifts Actually Arrive By Christmas

Holiday time is shopping time in America, and millions of families turn to Amazon to get their gifts. But last year, Santa’s sleigh had some trouble getting where it needed to be on time: last-minute buying, bad weather, and snafus at UPS and FedEx meant plenty of presents were still in transit when kids went looking under the tree in the morning. Some Christmas delivery miracles occurred, but Amazon still had to issue plenty of apologies, refunds, discounts, and Prime extensions. But Amazon is determined not to see a repeat in 2014, if their year of planning and building pans out. [More]

(tOkKie-Pokie ..puddin' n pie..)

Let’s Celebrate Christmas In October 1989 With Kay-Bee Toys

We’ve been cataloging the spread of Christmas Creep, the debut of Christmas merchandise and decorations earlier in the season, for some years now, but it’s important to remember that aggressive Christmas marketing before Thanksgiving and even before Halloween is not a new phenomenon. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a trip back in time to 1989, when video game consoles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, and Transformers ruled the line drawings of the Kay-Bee Toys ad. Wait, this is really 25 years old? [More]

Hallmark’s Ornaments Christmas Creep Up On CVS

Hallmark’s Ornaments Christmas Creep Up On CVS

In our years of posting about the retail menace that is Christmas Creep, we have developed a list of situations that are not eligible to be declared Christmas Creep. For example, craft stores know that you’re starting your Christmas crochet projects in mid-August, and Hallmark always introduces its Christmas ornaments in July. Yet Hallmark has taken its ornament collection to CVS, and reader Victoria is not pleased. [More]

Here’s Hobby Lobby’s Nightmare Before Christmas

Here’s Hobby Lobby’s Nightmare Before Christmas

We complain about holiday mashups and Holiday Creep, but we secretly love “Nightmare Before Christmas” displays, where retail necessity meets art, and cool holiday mashups ensue. Hobby Lobby puts out their Christmas merchandise early, even by craft store standards, and we have gradually grown to enjoy these Halloween trees, even as it’s fundamentally wrong to celebrate the coming of autumn with evergreens. [More]

Kmart Airs What Is Totally Not A Christmas Commercial

Kmart Airs What Is Totally Not A Christmas Commercial

Last year, discount retailer and aspiring landlord Kmart kicked off its Christmas marketing early. Really early. Last year, the chain waited around until September 10 to start airing its first Christmas ad. This year, they moved that start date up, presumably so people who chatter about retail would complain about the early start date and embed the ad. You win, Kmart. [More]

(Great Beyond)

I Can’t Return This Christmas Gift Without Upsetting My Mom

Lies can get you in trouble. Even when you mean well, sometimes they catch up with you and you get stuck in an impossible position. That’s what John learned when he lied by omission about a Christmas gift to spare his mom’s feelings, and is now stuck with an expensive GoPro camera that he can’t return. [More]

Another Christmas, Another Porn-Filled Nintendo DS Under The Tree

Another Christmas, Another Porn-Filled Nintendo DS Under The Tree

When you buy what is supposed to be a brand-new piece of electronics from the world’s largest retailer, it really shouldn’t come loaded with someone else’s content. And when the supposedly new device is a gift for your 8-year-old son, it certainly shouldn’t come pre-loaded with other people’s porn. [More]

These 28 Kids Are Not Sure Who This Santa Claus Guy Is, But He Is Definitely Terrifying

These 28 Kids Are Not Sure Who This Santa Claus Guy Is, But He Is Definitely Terrifying

Every year, kids around the world chirp and buzz and otherwise make delightfully adorable noises about how excited they are to get presents from Santa Claus at Christmas. But the holiday reality of actually meeting the man in red? Well, that’s not always a cause for celebration, as these 27 photos of Consumerist readers’ kids clearly demonstrate. You try meeting a large stranger with a bunch of white stuff on his face and see how you’d feel. [More]

Forget Christmas: Time To Buy Valentine’s Day Crap

Forget Christmas: Time To Buy Valentine’s Day Crap

This weekend, two readers sent us very similar “holiday creep” photos from two different kinds of retailers. Secret Consumerist synchronicity? Maybe. Or maybe the week before Christmas is now the universal time to put Valentine’s Day stuff out. [More]

How To Not Suck… At Last-Minute Christmas Gifting

How To Not Suck… At Last-Minute Christmas Gifting

Maybe you’re lazy. Or a procrastinator. Or a lazy procrastinator. We’re not judging because most of the time, that’s fine. But there are only a few sands left in the hourglass before Dec. 25, at which point you find yourself without gifts to give, promising your loved ones that you’ll get them something really nice at one of the after-Christmas sales. Fear not. Consumerist is here to help in your time of need — so your family doesn’t think you don’t give a hoot. [More]

More Shoppers Concerned About Getting Fat During The Holidays Than They Are About Going Into Debt

More Shoppers Concerned About Getting Fat During The Holidays Than They Are About Going Into Debt

For many Americans, the last two months of every calendar year inevitably involve eating too much and spending a lot of money. Given the still-choppy economic waters, you might think that consumers would be more concerned about their bottom lines before thinking about their waistlines, but you’d be wrong. [More]

(Dave Buchwald)

Will There Be Anything Worth Buying On “Super Saturday” This Weekend?

If they haven’t done so already, most online retailers will have closed their guaranteed-to-get-it-by-Christmas window by the time this weekend rolls around. So a number of bricks-and-mortar retailers will be having “Super Saturday” sales for those of us who haven’t finished buying stuff. Question is, will there be any be good deals? [More]

How To Not Suck… At Saving For The Holidays

How To Not Suck… At Saving For The Holidays

The holiday season is still in full swing, and we’re willing to bet you’re not done spending money yet. What’s more, some of you will be paying off your holiday spending on credit card bills for months to come; the holiday cheer followed by the January credit card bill blues. Break this nasty cycle by planning ahead for the next holiday season. [More]

(outtacontext)

Christmas Ordering Deadlines For 25 Top Online Retailers

Still working on your Christmas shopping? If you’re going online to buy those gifts, you need to be aware of the sites’ wildly varying cutoff dates for placing orders in time to get them under the tree on the big day. [More]