Please, one holiday at the time!

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like…HalloweenThanksgiving  Christmas...Valentine’s Day.

Really, I’m serious. Last weekend I was on the hunt for a particular ingredient I needed for a recipe. I’d already been in and out of four or five stores, was used to seeing more of the same Christmas decorations and expected to see more of the same when I walked into the last store – but such was not the case.

I was greeted at the door not by red, green and gold colors of the impending holiday season, but bombarded as I walked in with the red, pink and glitter all over everywhere. I had to do a double take to make sure I was in the right place. Sure enough, I was.

At that point, I became curious – why, before Thanksgiving has even passed and the Christmas season gotten into full swing, are stores selling Valentine’s Day gifts and decorations already? (For that matter, does anyone actually decorate for Valentine’s Day?)

So, I forgot about the ingredient I’d been searching for and went instead on a Christmas voyage, or attempted to anyway. I looked and looked for what seemed like an hour before I finally found the much-pawed-through leftover half aisle of Christmas decorations, shoved over to one side in the middle of nowhere.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I flat-out refuse to put up Christmas decorations or do any Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving is over. One holiday at a time is plenty for me, thank you very much.  I like Christmas as much as the next person, but over the years it’s become so commercialized that many people have lost the meaning behind “the reason for the season.”

Every year I see Christmas items being put out on store shelves earlier and earlier in the year. This year, most stores I went in had at least some stuff up for sale and signs displayed for Christmas as early as right before children went back to school in August.

Growing up, the phrase “Christmas in July” was a phrase used to mean “that never happens.” Now? It doesn’t seem too unlikely that, if the pace keeps up, stores will indeed be displaying Christmas items in July.

While most of us are used to this phenomenon, I’m definitely not used to going into a store before Thanksgiving even has passed and seeing Valentine’s Day things instead of Christmas. Maybe that particular store was trying to be trendy and sell items a season ahead, like many clothing brands do – if so, I must not be a trendy person because it wasn’t working for me.

Perhaps stores that insist on going all-out for every single holiday should set aside a few aisles and just dedicate a bit of permanent space to each of those days, leaving it up all year. It would save the store stockers some time, anyway.

As for me, I still like good old-fashioned turkey and gravy at Thanksgiving. The chocolate hearts and pink flowers can wait a few months.

Gobble, gobble.

Jennipher Dickens is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.