In Which I Suggest A Timeline For Various Holiday Shopping Seasons

If you think they call me Holiday Cat just because I have some things to say about the handful of weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, you are mistaken. I’m a feline for all seasons, and as such I have a few suggestions on when stores should start selling various holiday-themed products without setting off holiday creep alarms.

Obviously, retailers and e-tailers can do whatever they damn well please. I’m not advocating any sort of set-in-stone schedule, just giving my opinion.

Also, I am a cat and have a very small brain, so take this all with a really big grain of salt.

Valentine’s Day:
I don’t eat chocolate but most of you do. But since there is plenty of non-heart-shaped chocolate on the market every day of the year, there is no need to be trotting out the pink boxes and candy hearts until after January 15.

Given the wide array of possible dates on which Easter can occur, it’s impossible to nail down a specific date for when it wouldn’t be Premature Resurrection to trot out chocolate bunnies and egg-dying kits. Luckily, there is a general dearth of competing holidays in the spring so I’m going to suggest we relegate the availability of all Easter-related candy (with the exception of Cadbury Creme Eggs) to Lent.

Fourth of July:
We all love America. Heck, I’ve got a red, white and blue catnip ball. But July 4th decorations and paraphernalia don’t seem as timely when they’re on sale in May. I’m giving Memorial Day as the earliest date stores should be selling Uncle Sam hats. Fireworks scare the cat crap out of me and should be banned.

Back to School:
Okay, so this isn’t a holiday. But it’s a shopping season tied to a pretty specific time of the year. It’s also been showing up earlier and earlier in the summer. I suggest that stores should at least check to make sure their local schools are done for the year before they start advertising back-to-school specials.

Some people dress up all year long, and that’s cool. But let’s try to limit the sale of jack-o-lantern shaped candy buckets and cheapo, bagged costumes to after September 15.

This one’s tricky since Thanksgiving is mostly food-related and the holiday has sadly been overwhelmed by Christmas Creep. That’s why I’d like to put forth the idea of actually making an even bigger deal about Thanksgiving decorations. If retailers can make money selling pilgrim hats and such during the first couple weeks of November, that might slow down the spread of red and green into October and earlier.

Alas, not too many stores do much in the way of selling Hanukkah-related products and I don’t think we’ve ever received a single complaint about Hanukkah Creep. And yet the 8-day festival manages to go off every year without the benefit of televised parades, people lining up to sit on the laps of jolly old fat men in red suits, or Hannukah In July sales.

Christmas In July sales used to be a novelty, but they mean less and less every year when those same items are still being sold in August, September, and October. I know it’s as useless as chasing the red dot from a laser pointer around the kitchen floor, but I’m going to suggest that stores try their best to hold off on putting most of their Christmas-related wares on sale until after November 1.

And then there’s tonight, New Year’s Eve, when y’all get drunk, wear silly hats, toot horns, kiss random people at midnight and try to wake up early enough to zone out to college football on TV. Sounds like fun to me.

See you in 2011!

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