Tis the season: While American shoppers have been buying presents for loved ones in a quest to secure a spot on Santa Claus’ “Nice” list, there’s also the “Naughty” side of the population, set on snatching those gifts like the patron saint of holiday swiping, the Grinch himself.
Perhaps the only thing worse than being terrified by a mall Santa Claus is not getting to hang out with the guy when your heart is set on it. The family of a 7-year-old autistic girl in California says the youngster was “heartbroken” when she didn’t get to see Santa after a 30-minute wait, because he didn’t like the look of her service dog. [More]
A year ago, the annual cost of acquiring all the gifts enumerated in the classic, if irritating, carol “The 12 Days of Christmas,” added up to a record $114,000. The latest numbers are in and the good news is that things haven’t changed that much; the not-so-good news is that you probably don’t have $116,000 to toss away on the lark of making the song’s lyrics manifest. [More]
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.
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]